The Chief Medical Officer of Liberia and Deputy Ministry of Health, Dr. Francis Kateh says arrangements are being made to bring in pathology to identify the actual cause of two recent deaths in Monrovia as the result of several mysterious deaths in Sinoe County, southeast Liberia following a burial ceremony.
Briefing reporters on Thursday, 4 May at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, he says a total of 28 probable cases have been recorded and of this number, 12 persons have died – 10 in Sinoe and two in Montserrado.
Health authorities here have ruled out re-emergence of Ebola Virus Disease, but are to give the cause of the recent deaths after some citizens attended a burial ceremony in Sinoe County.
Dr. Kateh narrates that the story behind the mysterious deaths came as the result of a man, who came to Monrovia, and died and his remains were taken back to the county for wake-keeping, funeral and subsequent interment.
He says the cause of the death has not been established, but the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute are working along with partners to inform the general public about issues relating the deaths in Sinoe.
“What we are telling the world is that we do have the capability, the ability to quickly diagnose those cases that are prevalent within our country, so if something else came up, we are under obligation to build the system in order to fast track it”.
He continues that it is against this backdrop that the Ministry is still involved with investigation, something which is stopping them from coming up with a cause, pending arrival of a pathology to conduct an autopsy on the remains of some of the victims, adding “Some of the analysis we are looking at could be probable exposure, probably it could be chemical or other things, but our analysis is leading us to the tea, there could be some probability that a container was not washed properly before using it, but there are lot of things that are being analyzed.”
The Deputy Health boss says Liberians should be proud of current efforts being made, saying prior to Ebola, we did not have the capability, but for now we have built our capacity, if you had laser fever, we can determine in an hour’s time, first it will take us week to determine such illness.”
The government has sent specimen to the United States, France, Center for Disease Control, W.H.O., MSF and other partners to help in dealing with the situation, according to the Chief Medical Officer.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne