For the second time, the World Health Organization has declared Liberia an Ebola freed country, following another 42 days countdown. A formal certification ceremony was held Thursday, 3 September at the New Incident Management System in Congo Town, a Monrovia suburb.
On behalf of the W.H.O., Dr. Alex Gasasira, who declared Liberia Ebola- freed, handed the declaration certificate to the country’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Bernice Dahn. Dr. Gasaira noted that the Government of Liberia was rapid in responding to the second outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease.
He applauded President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the government for effective response in contact tracing and community mobilization that has yielded zero infection case for the country. Barely two months after Liberia was declared Ebola- freed, the disease resurrected on June 29, 2015 with the reported death of a 17- year- old boy from Kakata, Margibi County.
A total of six confirmed cases were reported, including four survivors and two deaths. There were three contacts; two from Margibi and one from Montserrado. Liberia has gone 52 days since the incident without a new confirmed case and 43 days since the last contact was discharged. But while the WHO is optimistic that Liberia has interrupted transmission, outbreaks persist in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone, creating a high risk that infected persons may again cross here, and create new infections.
The World Health Organization has urged Liberia to continue 90 days of heightened surveillance for potential Ebola cases. Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, has urged Liberians to continue to alert suspected cases, saying that the fight against Ebola is not yet over.
According to Dr. Kateh, there were 143 contacts from Margibi and Montserrado Counties, and that the just ended outbreak was two incubation period, according to the W.H.O. He assured that the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the borders and make sure that all dead bodies are swapped before burial. Dr. Kateh also cautions fellow Liberians to keep away from all sick persons.
By Ethel A. Tweh – Editing by Jonathan Browne