The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health has held a three-day program in honor of Liberians who stood and fought against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease. The three-day ceremony ended Thursday, 30th June in Congo Town outside Monrovia with the certification of active case finders and other distinguished personalities in the Ebola fight here.
Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Health for Epidemic and Emergency Response Tolbert Nyenswah, said over 11,000 persons were affected by the virus, while about 5,000 died. He disclosed that in the subregion – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone combined, Ebola affected about 1 million persons and about 1billion dollars was spent on the three countries to stop the virus.
He paid special homage to the United Nationals Development Program 0or UNDP for financing Community Base Initiative or CBI that helped in combating the disease. CBI coordinator Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah said the initiative started when the virus killed people seriously in West Point Township, adding that secret meetings were held with leaders of the township in tackling the epidemic.
Dr. Fallah recalled that at certain point, residents of the township promised to burn infected persons alive and subsequently resorted to secret burial, narrating that this is how he and his team established the Community Based Initiative program to help eradicate the virus.
According to him, 32persons died in West Point in less than two weeks, and when the initiative began, township suddenly reportedly zero cases. Bendu Waiwoi, a CBI member said she sat and watched her husband and son died of the virus, but she just couldn’t help them. She however thanked Dr. Fallah and his team for making her to see a reason to live because she nearly went mad after she lost her husband and son.
Representing various United Nations entities, Aanchal Khurana said the Community Based Initiative really helped to identify Ebola contacts. She said during the outbreak, Liberia had 200 United Nations volunteers.
Liberia’s Cultural Ambassador and head of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace or LCP Madam Juli Endee said her organization is working with survivors and making sure they are well taken care off.
She stressed that they made sure survivors were provided clinical care, and every dead body in a community swapped before burial. The Ebola virus dealt a deadly blow in Liberia between 2014 and 2015, killing thousands of citizens, particularly women and children including doctors and health workers.
Liberia was subsequently declared Ebola-freed by the World Health Organization and formally certificated following serious intervention by the international community, particularly the United States and China.
By Ethel A Tweh -Editing by Jonathan Browne