National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) Director designate Dr. MosokaFallah has told a Senate confirmation hearing that one of the greatest challenges NPHIL faces is the misuse of social media and other means of spreading information that will scare the public and cause more problems and work for NPHIL.
Appearing before the Senate’s Committee on Health and Social Welfare Thursday, 26 March on Capitol Hill, Dr. Fallah alarmed that the public keeps carrying out misinformation about the Coronavirus, warning that it must stop.
Dr. Fallah who has been acting head of NPHIL prior to his appointment by President George Manneh Weah, says his team is fully prepared and qualified to fight this COVID-19.
Officially Liberia is battling against three confirmed cases of coronavirus and lot of contacts with a poor health system which serves a country with vast majority of its population in abject poverty.
He told the committee chaired by Grand Kru County Senator Dr. Peter Coleman that the fight against the virus requires the public’s help by abiding by preventive measures and stop spreading messages to create panic.“For once, let us all suspend our political and other differences and help fight this deadly coronavirus,” Dr. Fallah cautions.
According to Dr. Fallah, their work is not influenced by any politician, explaining that politicians listen to them because they are the health experts and allow them to do their work.He tells the Senate’s Health Committee that there are 390 contacts from the coronavirus patients of which 49 are high risk.
The NPHIL director – designate also says on Thursday morning, 20,000 testing kits had arrived in Liberia, saying the kits take 24 hours for the results to be out.Dr. Fallah explains further that in the soonest possible time, 14,000 testing kits will be in country from one of their partners and those testing kits will give coronavirus results in 30 minutes.
He adds that while they are in the fight against the coronavirus, his team is also tracking other sicknesses and diseases like lassa fever, among others.The NPHIL director – designate says that the experience of the Ebola Virus Disease has helped them a lot in combating this new disease.
He continues that most of the doctors and nurses that were used and trained to combat the Ebola virus are the same people they are using now.Commenting on his appointment to head NPHIL, Dr. Fallah indicates that his training and love for his country makes him best suited for the position.
Following his presentation, Senator Daniel Naathan of Gbapolu County suggested that when the kits arrive in Liberia, NPHIL should test each senator because they meet every time and they need to know their statuses.
Meanwhile, Montserrado County Senator Abe Darius Dillon says NPHIL needs to give his office an update on the reported harassment of the political leader of opposition Alternative National Congress, Alexander B. Cummings.By Ethel A. Tweh—Edited by Winston W. Parley