A Nimba County Lawmaker, Matenikay Tengbeh has strongly challenged the number of Ebola deaths being reported by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare. Rep. Tengbeh believes that the issue of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia is being exaggerated and the number of deaths increased by the Health Ministry.
Health officials here have put the number of Ebola related deaths at 11, since the virus was reported here, with one from Nimba. Health officials said the death reported in Nimba County was that of a hunter who felt sick and went to seek treatment at the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, where he died 30 minutes upon arrival.
Health authorities believed that the hunter died from the Ebola virus because he had shown symptoms of the virus. But Rep. Tengbeh told a New Dawn interview that he doesn’t believe that the hunter died from the virus as it was reported by the Ministry of Health. He noted that investigations have shown that the man was suffering from tuberculosis and refused to follow medical advice.
“We understand that the reported dead in Tapita that the Health Ministry say, he died from Ebola was a hunter who was suffering from TB and he had reportedly been smoking, drinking a lot and not following medical advice. My understanding is that this guy came from the bush and went straight to the hospital and in split seconds he dropped and died upon arrival at the hospital, there were no Ebola test done on the body and people just concluded that he died of Ebola,” he noted.
The Nimba County lawmaker said he does not doubt the existence of the virus in Liberia, but he has a serious problem with the way the virus existence has been exaggerated in the country.
“I’m not saying Ebola is not in Liberia, the Ministry and other International bodies have confirmed the virus here, but we need to be careful how we disseminate the information to our people and the international world.
If we are not careful this information will affect our economy, as you know some investors that were expected to come to Liberia had to cut off their trip because of the same Ebola news spreading, with this kind of exaggeration about the virus. It scares people a lot, let us be careful of how we spread this to our people,” he advised.
He said another lady was reportedly abandoned by her relatives after she complained of stomach pain, “no one wanted to go around that lady because the people believe that the virus comes with stomach pain as well.”