A Liberian opposition party, Movement for Progressive Change or MPC has donated 5 Million Liberia Dollars to orphans, and homeless children who lost their parents to the ongoing Ebola fight that has taken a serious toll on the country’s health sector.
Speaking to reporters at the MPC headquarters in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, political leader Simone Freeman, said it has been several months since the deadly virus attacked the hopes, aspirations, and way of life of the Liberian people.
He said many mistakes have been and are continuously being made by the Government, though significant and swift actions in neighbouring countries, equally affected as Liberia, with similar cultures, tradition and practices, have shown huge gains and traction in their Ebola eradication efforts.
But the businessman turned politician noted that new places and affected areas were constantly creeping up in Liberia, making the eradication efforts much harder and difficult.
“We also recognize the gains made in Liberia and thank the government, international partners, Liberian actors, political parties, individual contributors and the media; for the significant gains that have increased survival rate to 50%”, he noted.
He said whole families are being wiped out, while orphans will live with the scar of losing parents to a biological warfare; so also will loved ones and survivors; especially in slum communities, where slum dwellers are most unarmed against the deadly virus.
“While we do not wish to dwell on government’s initial response and the mismanagement of the allocated $5 million dollars, we are troubled by the insensitivity to the most affected communities. “
“The airwaves have been overtaken by – Ebola Is Real Messages – with guidance to wash hands with soap, chlorinate households, drinking of water and related counsel. The sad reality is, this advice is being proffered to people that were unemployed, unskilled and most vulnerable before Ebola. It is like telling a penniless and starving man to eat three times a day”, the MPC leader criticized.
He said most of the victims of Ebola still have no access to free water, food or simple survival items like soap or chlorine; not because they do not think it is relevant, but because they do not have the means to acquire these basic survival items.
“Most people in these communities eat once a day. Water, they must buy from the government. Chlorine is too expensive. The Ministry of Health sells a 50kg bag for US$450, far above the average wage of $60 per month.”
Mr. Simone urged the Government to enable the Water and Sewer Corporation to supply free water to Monrovia or selected communities for at least 60 – 90 days.
He also urged the Ministry of Health to embark on a massive chlorine distribution campaign that can be massively assisted by the Press Union of Liberia to guarantee transparency in the distribution. He said provision of soap and buckets should be a major part of the Ebola awareness and fight campaign, saying, “This will greatly reduce the risk of re-infection and a rapid isolation of the virus in Liberia.”