By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County
Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Kateh has urged citizens of Maryland County, Southeast Liberia to observe all health protocols prescribed by the Ministry and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia.
He met with citizens and toured COVID-19 treatment centers in the county.
The meeting with local stakeholders was held on Tuesday, July 20, and Wednesday, the 21st bringing together the Mayor of Pleebo City, Wellington Kyen, Statutory District Superintendent Aluysious William, Deputy Director of Partners In Health Viola Karanja, Dr. Emmanuel Flomo, Medical Officer at the J.J. Dossen Hospital in Harper, among others.
Dr. Kateh said the urgent trip to the county is due to a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases there and to assess the wellbeing of patients in treatment centers.
“Over the past three weeks, the cases of COVID-19 have been on the increase in the county and I think this is something that we need not forget. Since we had our first case of COVID-19 in early March of last year, we haven’t gone out of COVID-19; it has always been in this county and the thing about it is that, as long as other countries surrounding Liberia still reporting cases of COVID-19, it’s a possibility that every country will still be in trouble”, he said.
He said during the first wave of infection, the highest number of cases reported per week was 256 and 2nd wave per week was 104, but the third wave recorded the highest cases of 1,134 per week, noting the frustrating situation about the current resurgence is it’s killing people daily.
“Many people have died from this third wave over the past days, including Maryland County which has reported four death cases in Pleebo and Harper districts.”
The chief medical officer explained that despite reactions from the third wave of the virus, people who are tested positive are still denying the fact about their family being positive of the virus.
“Many at times people will say their people are diabetes and high blood pressure patients and they have been living with it for many years. But let me say their chance of getting infected is very [possible].”
“So we always inform our people with these kinds of sicknesses to be more careful because if you are tested positive of the COVID-19, your chance of surviving as high blood pressure and diabetes patients is very high. So the soonest your diagnosis or the early you start treatment, it’s always important for you. So because of the increment in the cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, I have decided that I have to come in order for me and the local authorities of the county to discuss how we as citizens can fight the virus because this virus is not an easy one for us all as citizens.
While in the county, he also visited the COVID-19 treatment centers at the J.J. Dossen Hospital and the Cavalla Rubber Company to assess patient’s care and wellbeing at the facilities.
Dr. Kateh was accompanied by the Deputy Director of Partners In Health – Liberia, Viola Karanja, and Dr. Emmanuel Flomo, Medical Officer at J.J. Dossen Hospital, and other officials.
He interacted with the patients and encouraged them to continue with their treatments and observe COVID-19protocols.
“The patients are happy about what has been done for them here and I want to say a big thank you to the team here and to the partners, especially Partners In Health, for working along with the team here.”
He said the government has instituted rapid tests, to be followed by conducting surveillance into communities to break transmission, adding that treatment centers are currently admitting symptomatic cases with or without conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV, and tuberculosis.
Speaking also, Emmanuel Flomo, Medical Officer at J.J. Dossen explained the hospital admits severe and critical patients, including elderly people with complications such as diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions, saying “Our primary goal is to stop the transmission of COVID-19.”https://thenewdawnliberia.com/maryland-county-records-10-new-confirmed-cases-1-death/ Editing by Jonathan Browne