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Patients will rather die” – ELWA warns

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaDespite successfully discharging dozens of Ebola infected persons, including surviving doctors, the ELWA is warning that “patients would rather die” where required working materials are unavailable, than to endanger its staff.

Speaking to UNMIL Radio’s Coffe Break on Tuesday morning, September 2, ELWA Acting General Administrator Dr. Jerry Brown said he has encouraged his staff, but they are now becoming discouraged by the day due to the lack of material support.

Dr. Brown said health workers are relying on support from individual Liberians’ goodwill gestures to get protective gear. He said personal protective equipment at the hospital are in limited supplies at the unit.

He told UNMIL radio that due to the commitment of staff at the ELWA, the hospital has succeeded in discharging several persons that were earlier tested Ebola positive, after receiving treatment under local method.

But he warned that “Until I can ensure adequate protection for my nurses, I’m not going to expose them to danger, including myself.”

Excluding a Liberian Physician Assistant Kandy Kobah and a Congolese Doctor Sengo Omeoga that were discharged from the ELWA-1 on Saturday, August 30, Dr. Brown announced here Tuesday that on Monday, 1 September, 12 confirmed Ebola patients were discharged after being treated at the hospital.

He added that two other persons suspected of Ebola were also discharged after medical attention, making the number of patients that walked out of ELWA-1 to 14 on Monday, September 1.

But as at Tuesday, he said a total number of “50 plus” patients were at ELWA, while clarifying to the public that the Ebola unit at ELWA is absolutely separate from the main hospital where regular cases are being treated. “At ELWA, we don’t have Ebola patients in the hospital itself, the Ebola unit is separate from the ELWA,” he said.

It could be recalled that after being discharged on Saturday, August 30, the Liberian PA Madam Kandy Bobah pleaded with President Sirleaf for more support to be given to health workers and increase their supply, after citing the needs of health practitioners in the Ebola fight.

The National Port Authority or NPA has erased the fear of employees dispatched home for them in definite as a result of the deadly Ebola disease, causing many deaths in Liberia and other West African countries.

The NPA said, the mandate was instituted by the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for all non-essential public workers take a month’s break to reduce the over-crowdedness of government offices as a way of avoiding the spreading the virus.

Speaking yesterday at the Information Ministry during its regular press briefing, the Deputy Managing Director for Administration, Nyekeh Forkpa, said the management of the port had decided to reduce staff to avoid people coming in contact with the deadly Ebola disease.

About 50% of our administrative staff were dispatched home, not because they are not important, but just to have the entity secure from the spread of the deadly virus; while they are on break, they will continue to get all of their regular salaries. We cannot impose hardship on people; they are not responsible for their stay home,” he noted.

According to the NPA Deputy Managing Director, the NPA has put in place various measures to insure that there is a zero outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus at the port facility.

He said the port facility  is yet to record a single case of any  symptom of the virus at its facility, emphasizing that the NPA will not allow people in its premises and showing passes to vessel members, except  those who will be in emergency cases. Mr. Forkpa explained that the high measures put in place were intended to safeguard every employee of the entity and help the eradication of the dangerous virus.

He pointed out that other measures put in place by the port management, including wearing long sleeve shirts while coming to work, and washing hands with chlorine, bleach hand wash, alcohol, based hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the compound and the testing of temperature to ensure that every employee of the facility is healthy to save them from coming in contact with the virus.

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