Health workers in Liberia are said to be fleeing and returning from their areas of assignment due to the increasing number of Ebola patients. Some are said to have died from treating patients infected by the deadly virus.
Speaking in plenary yesterday at the Capitol Building, Senate’s Committee Chairman on Health, Dr. Peter Coleman disclosed that there were 12 cases of health workers infected by the Ebola Virus- ten 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 Grand Kru County Senator noted that the only option to maintain these health workers is for the government to direct sufficient funds to efforts against the deadly virus which has engulfed the sub region and could be uncontrollable for months.
He said the Ministry of Health has proposed the amount of US$1.5 million to combat the epidemic or the population of the country could be in serious danger.
Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais called on the administration to decide on a national state of emergency- an action that would enable officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia along with health workers to be posted from the Red-light via Gardnerville to the Gabriel Tucker Bridge for inspection and testing to determine carriers of the virus.
The Liberian Senate, through a motion from Lofa County Senator George Tingbeh, agreed that the leaderships of the both House of Representatives and Liberian Senate submit a resolution to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, calling for the immediate provision of the US$1.5 million in order to combat the deadly. On July 1, 2014, a medical practitioner from Uganda, involved with the fight against the spread of the Ebola virus in Liberia, died.
Dr. Sam Mokoro, who had worked at the state-owned Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town on Busrod Island in Monrovia, died at the John F. Kennedy Hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for nearly two weeks.
Assistant Minister of Health for Preventive Services Tolbert Nyesuah told a local radio station in Monrovia that a nurse of the same hospital last month died after contracting the disease. She had been treating Ebola patients when she fell ill. The Ministry of Health reported that 49 persons have died from the Ebola disease in Liberia out of 90 confirmed cases as of June 29.
There is still no cure for the deadly Ebola virus disease, which has an incubation period between two and 21 days and carries a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, taking its name from the Ebola River where the DR Congo outbreak was found in a nearby village.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the Ebola virus disease, formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, as “a severe, often fatal illness” and “one of the world’s most virulent diseases.”