Presidential Youth Advisor Dr. Emmanuel Dolo says the objective of the Government 60 days Ebola plan is to develop and implement an integrated strategic Ebola response framework to get to and stay at zero new cases across the entire country within the maximum timeframe of 60 days.
Addressing the daily press briefing Tuesday, 17 February at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Dr. Dolo pointed stressed that getting to zero infection will depend on the political will to enforce the agreed terms and interventions that will provide an enabling environment that will translate intervention into actions.
He said getting there is also by advocating for international partners to plan and manage exit strategy responsibly, dictated by the epidemiology of the disease, while ensuring that capacity is transferred adequately to national organizations.
Heads of state and Governments of the Mano River Union or MRU meeting in the Guinean capital, Conakry, this week, reiterated their committed to achieving zero Ebola infection in 60 days, commencing Sunday, February 15, 2015.
The Government here said the plan is to tackle the deadly Ebola virus to get Liberia stay free of EVD with the target period and beyond. Total confirmed cases throughout the country as of this week have been reported at eight, a significant decline from the previous 60 to 80 cases during the peak of the crisis last year.
The deadly Ebola outbreak, which hit Liberia in March 2014 from neighboring Guinea, and subsequently to neighboring Sierra Leone took away several thousand lives and inflicted serious economic damage to the three countries combined.
Liberia alone lost over 3,000 citizens to the virus, including heath care workers, nurses, and doctors, prompting the Economic Community of West African Stated or ECOWAS, to characterize the outbreak as s security threat, with the World Health Organization referring to the disease as Public Health Emergency Concern.
According to Dr. Dolo, the cross borders transmission has been a prominent feature of the outbreak, often revising gains in the overall response that has been designed on a country basis.
He said individual countries context has political and social cultures that constrain rational and effective response across the region, saying, “The overall transmission is on a downward trend, but we are not at zero yet.”
Dr. Dolo said if Liberia must maintain zero Ebola case in the next 60 days, there is need to focus on deepening community engagement through integrated, targeted social mobilization and psychosocial intervention, something, which he emphasized, will strengthen strategies that will contribute to the decline of the Ebola virus.
The Presidential Youth Advisor said areas of no transmission should maintain quality and efficiency enabling support such as provision of food, and enhanced early warning and alert system that will ensure early detection and referral that will strengthen community surveillance and engagement system.
By Lewis S. Teh