Health authorities in Bong County say 200 people are now infected with scabies, a skin disease locally called “be serious” that has sparked widespread health concern in the country.
County health officials made the disclosure Tuesday, 6 March in Bong County. Our correspondent says the county health team and the Ministry of Health had earlier expressed uncertainties over the identity of the skin infection, although they said most of the signs and symptoms patients were showing resemble scabies.
Recently the acting county health officer of Bong County Alpanso Kofa announced that about 200 cases were reported from six of the nine health districts in the county.
In an interview with this paper, Mr. Kofa said the national reference laboratory tested 42 cases out of which 17 were confirmed to be Scabies.
Kofa says the 17 cases that were previously reported in the County have been treated using Benyzl Benzoate lotion with support from World Health Organization (WHO) with a 100% cure rate.
He adds that “Scabies is preventable and treatable,” and that there was “no need to panic, but urged residents to take preventive measures”.
Kofa says the county health team has collaborated with other partners in the county to do surveillance in the entire county.
He says active case search has been initiated with Zonal Surveillance Officers and Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) especially in Bong.
Scabies is a parasitic infection transmitted by skin-to-skin contacts, contact of body part during sexual intercourse with affected person and contacts with affected linens, clothings, bath towels, beddings, and furnishings.
Commenting on challenges the sector faced in the county, Mr. Kofa said, of almost all of the ambulances used to transport patients, Mr. Kofa noted that four out of the five ambulances that the county has at its disposal are not functional anymore.
He says it is hampering the work of the county health team, thus leading to citizens of the county who are in need of the ambulance services being denied them. He complains that the some of the ambulances have been down for over six months.
He expresses fear that there is a likelihood that the county may lose ground in the fight against curable diseases in the county, which in recent time has drastically reduced.
Mr. Kofa: “We have a very serious situation in this county which has to do with the ambulances that are supposed to cater to our patients in emergency situations.
All of the ambulances that this county has are broken down with the exception of one. This is really hampering the work of the county health team.”
He calls on Bong County authorities and other stakeholders to come to aid of the health team as soon as possible.
He furthered that the lives of “our” mothers and children are the most in danger, and they are at risks because they cannot walk far distances while pregnant or carrying young children to seek medical attention.
Meanwhile, the acting health officer is calling on the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health to intervene in situation.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong –Edited by Winston W. Parley