The former Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia or NPHIL, Tolbert Nyenswah, underscores the need for those heading the current fight against Coronavirus in the country to give 100% commitment to the process.
Mr. Nyenswah headed the Incident Management Team that coordinated the fight against Ebola between 2013 and 2015 under the administration of ex-president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Ebola killed over 5,000 Liberians, including 192 healthcare workers and left a devastated economy before the virus was eventually defeated in 2015 with help from international partners, including the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. military.
Speaking from the United States here early Tuesday via mobile phone to Truth FM 96.1, he called on the government of President Weah to use the expertise of health technicians in the country, if Liberia should get ahead of the curve.
He said Montserrado County is already divided into 22 zones with three epidemiologists besides County Health Teams across the country that should be put to work immediately and supplied protective gears such as PPEs, face masks, surgical gloves and sanitizers, among others.
“Let the political people go to do their work; keep the technical people”, says Mr. Nyenswah, who currently works at the Johns Hopkins University in the United States as a Researcher. He also served as the first Director General of the NPHIL prior to leaving Liberia.
Nyenswah also disclosed that about 3,000 trained Contact Tracers are across the country and they should be remobilized to join the fight.
But the Monrovia City Corporation thru Mayor Jefferson Koijee recently trained about 7,000 contact tracers in three days, predominantly ruling party (CDC) youth and loyalists, who have been deployed across the capital to conduct public sensitization.
President George Manneh Weah recently appointed Madam Mary Broh, Director-General of the General Services Agency to serve as National Response Coordinator for the Executive Committee on Coronavirus in Liberia.
According to the Executive Mansion, Madam Broh will provide supervision toward a single set of national strategic objectives for defeating the Coronavirus.
She served as head of logistics in the former Sirleaf administration during the Ebola fight.
Mary, a result-oriented public servant, is also expected to coordinate the national COVID-19 multi-sectorial response plan, in coordination with the United Nations (UN), donor partners, Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL).
President Weah has also appointed Miss FindaBundoo as the National Compliance Manager of the Executive Committee on Coronavirus, ECOC.
Miss Bundoo is charged with the responsibility of monitoring the overall allocation and disbursement of the response logistics and resources.
A press release issued here, says both appointments, which have a term of nine months, became necessary following recommendations made by the United Nations particularly, the World Health Organization, aimed at further enhancing the national response, as cases here begin to spike.
Liberia has recorded 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including six deaths as of noon on Monday, 12 April. Story by Jonathan Browne