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Gov’t is the stumbling block

-Dr. Chris DugbehNyan on experts’ involvement in Covid19 fight

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Liberian scientist and inventor Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan is warning here that the Liberian Government is the stumbling block to health experts’ involvement in the fight against coronavirus here, disclosing that his team requires no payment from government to make interventions once the space and requisite material supports are provided.

Speaking via mobile interview with a local FM broadcaster Monday, 13 April, the U.S. – based Liberian scientist Dr. Nyan recalled that when Ebola hit Liberia between 2014 and 2016, they coordinated very effectively with health authorities to combat the disease, and it led to the emergence of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL).

According to him, 2,000 health practitioners and contact tracers were trained to deal with the Ebola crisis, “and we have these people today.”

With NPHIL and the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) having deployed 6,000 active data collectors beginning Wednesday, 8 April to collect data of persons suspected of having coronavirus, Dr. Nyan suggests that the government should now be questioned why it has not called “DougbehNyan’s Team” to help in the fight against Covid-19.

Giving example of factors prompting the increase of Covid19 in the U.S., Dr. Nyan explains that delay in preparation and political decisions are some key factors that have crippled the U.S. health system during this crisis, despite having one of the best health systems and best scientists.

“Again, the Government of Liberia is the stumbling block and that decision is in the hands of the Government of Liberia,” he says.

He notes that back home, it is very unfortunate that when he tries to give expert advice, some people would take things differently for their own motives.

In the wake of the increasing coronavirus cases which have hit 50 with five deaths, the Liberian scientist questions the authorities here as to why is it that Liberia only has one health laboratory which is not adequately equipped since the 2014 – 2016 Ebola crisis up to date.

With one health laboratory available, he wonders what is quality of samples of specimen that are taken from suspects from other parts of Liberia before they reach the one testing center to be tested, saying “when we raise questions about the status of health centers, others term it to be political.”

He expresses hope that with all of the money being given to Liberia to help fight Covid19 at this time, funds can be used to build up NPHIL so that it can withstand health emergency like the Coronavirus.

According to Dr. Nyan, Liberia probably will have more Coronavirus cases discovered if more testing is done, adding: “the more we test, the more we know those affected.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Nyan is urging law enforcement officers here to enforce the lockdown with caution and use their own ingenuity to work with locals, rather than beating on somebody who for example, may be five minutes late after the 3pm deadline on their way home.“You can allow them to go home, you don’t have to beat them. You can use your own ingenuity,” he says. By Winston W. Parley

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