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Health Ministry wants US$1.5m to fight Ebola

The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaThe Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has forwarded a budget of US$1.5 million to the Finance Ministry for the ongoing fight against the deadly Ebola virus.

According to the budget’s fact sheet, the money is expected to be used to purchase protective gargets for health workers and medications for patients.

Announcing to members of the Liberian Senate on Thursday in their regular sitting, Senator Peter Coleman of Grand Kru County said the Health Ministry has submitted the budget for the funds to be raised immediately in order to avoid more causality.

The Liberian Government had earlier provided US$250,000 for the combat of the virus. Up to now, officials of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare have failed to provide performance report. Senator Coleman, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Gender, said that the money is to be raised in the soonest time or else, the country would experience unbearable situation for the incurable disease.

A professional doctor and ex-minister of health, Coleman indicated that the Ebola virus is greatly affecting the country as a result of weak medical facilities and lack of capacity of health workers.

He explained that the government should at cost provide the needed resources as required by health authorities to effectively combat the disease or else, the entire is at a serious stake. The senator also disclosed that there are 433 new cases, majority of them in Monrovia while the rest are in Lofa County.

Health workers in Liberia are said to be fleeing from their areas of assignment due to the increasing number of Ebola patients. Some have died from treating patients infected by the deadly virus.

There were 12 cases of health workers infected by the Ebola Virus – 10 of whom have already died; and as a result, trained and professional health workers were leaving their areas of assignment at clinics and hospitals for fear of being infected.

The death toll from the Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has risen to 467, out of 759 cases, according to the World Health Organization. The figures include confirmed, probable and suspected cases.  A previous WHO update put the death toll at 399 as of June 23, out of 635 cases.

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