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Confirmed: Liberia records 1,214 Ebola deaths

The Liberian Government has confirmed the latest World Health Organization or WHO record that puts the Ebola related cases here at over 2,245 since its outbreak in March to September 2014, with a rising death toll of 1,214 as of September 11.

But the French Charity Medecine Sans Frontieres announced Thursday that, 51 recovered Ebola patients had so far been discharged from the ELWA Unit-3, while stressing the need for international partners’ help.

House Committee Chairperson on Health Representative Korpu Barclay told UNMIL Radio’s Coffee Break program on Thursday morning that there is a high increase in the Ebola death rate here, further, announcing that confirmed and suspected cases from March to September total 2,245 with 1,214 deaths.

Madam Barclay recalled that from March to August this year, Liberia had 786 confirmed and suspected cases, and 466 deaths; but the Ebola infection has since increased drastically in September.

“But we are looking now from today, from March to September confirmed and suspected cases now are 2,245; and death is 1,214. And it is very, very increasing, our people are now dying,” she said yesterday. She says the level of the Ebola crisis here can not only be a Liberian fight, and the country is now looking up to international partners, who she however thanked for their response so far.

Madam Barclay believes that Ebola testing centers across Liberia’s 15 counties are limited, and thus suggested that “before there comes a new outbreak, let us establish a mobile testing center to decentralize” the process.

Earlier, the MSF Spokesperson at ELWA Unit-3 Sophie Jane told UNMIL Radio that 51 persons had been discharged, but complained of poor international response, while alerting the public that the facility is now over-stretched and cannot admit as many cases as are being reported.

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Thursday, House Speaker Alex Tyler also told the UNMIL Radio that he was expecting to receive a report from the Executive on how the initial US$5 million approved by the Legislature to fight Ebola had been expended.

Out of over $20m budgeted by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on the onset of the Ebola crisis here, Speaker Tyler said a first phase of US$5 million was approved, and the Ebola Taskforce may be making another request for $5m along with its first report to the Legislature.

Under this emergency spending government is carrying out, Speaker Tyler says the Legislature has no say as to how the Ebola Taskforce is spending money in the Ebola fight, except that the lawmakers make approval of funds and await the report.

In the US$20 million emergency spending request made by the Executive, Speaker Tylers believes that they took into consideration everything that comes along with the Ebola fight including construction of sites, awareness, and local authorities’ demands at the county levels, among others.

However, he concluded that if there was money spread around other counties, it was just intended to have them prepared ahead of being hit by the disease, because he believes that the approach was such that the counties that were initially hit may have had “the lion’s share.”

On Tuesday, September 9, the World Health Organization or WHO had said the death toll in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria was 2,296 out of 4,293 cases; and that nearly half of all infections had emerged in the past 21 days.

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