Liberia’s embattled Health Ministry Dr. Walter Gwenigale has boasted of empty beds in Ebola Treatment Units or ETUs across Liberia, as a new ETU of eight large tent with approximately 300- bed capacity was being dedicated in Congo Town.
“Today we don’t have people lying in front of ETUs; in fact, we have empty beds,” he said on Friday, October 31 at the Congo Town ETU dedication which construction was led by the World Health Organization.
Dr. Gwenigale boasted that Liberia was now seeing the benefit of government’s refusal to outsource the Ebola fight to partners as had been demanded during the heat of the outbreak. He introduced a young Liberian doctor, Soka Moses, who is in charge of running the Congo Town ETU.
A UN envoy at the dedication praised the measures taken both by government and at the local level both in Monrovia and rural areas, but warned that Liberians should continue to report themselves immediately if they feel ill to know their health status on time.
“Madam President, I think the single most difficult message in the week to come is please don’t let out; we’re doing ok and are starting to get at head of the curve… I can see that we might be moving faster than the virus, but we cannot let up,” the UN representative told President Sirleaf.
US Ambassador to Liberia, Madam Deborah Malac, said, Liberian workers are doing a lot, but appealed to partners to assist Liberians with additional capacity that do not exist here.
She said America cannot take on the fight alone here and it is beyond the scope of anyone to do that, as she praised the global partnership and collaboration under the leadership of the Liberian government to deal with the Ebola disease.
Ambassador Malac said it was heartening to see that Liberia, with the help of international partners and support of the government was “finally perhaps catching up with the Ebola, and not in front of it.”
She acknowledged however that Liberia is now starting to make progress, but warned like previous speakers that it was “important that we don’t let up.” Madam Malac said the Ebola fight needs to be a sub-regional and regional effort, warning that, “We cannot take care of the problem only here.”
In response, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said the partnership here shows solidarity … and dedication of passion, as foreign partners didn’t have to leave their comfort to join the Ebola fight here in Liberia.
President Sirleaf thanked all of the partners, while describing the outbreak here as a global threat and national disaster which they’ve all joined as friends of Liberia to fight against.