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Editorial

Urgency for total involvement in fight against Ebola

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I from all indications, the Ebola Virus Disease or EVD may now be spreading at an alarming rate in Liberia and the Mano River Union basis. And unless there is TOTAL INVOLVEMENT by all sectors of the Liberian society, we may be in a long battle with the EVD at our disadvantage. The urgent need for the concerted efforts of all societal stakeholders to include political parties, civil society organizations, academic institutions, Community Leaders, Liberia Marketing Association, the Media, Transport Unions, banking institutions, as well as the business community, among others,  must be emphasized.

While we appreciate the efforts of the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its international partners in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease from the initial stage to present, it is now a matter of urgency for the total involvement of all stakeholders of the Liberian Society in these efforts to raid the nation of this deadly disease. Our concern for these efforts comes against the backdrop of the alarming increase in the number of people killed by the virus in West Africa to 467, as reported by the World Health Organization or WHO.

According to the WHO, Sixty-eight of the deaths had been recorded since 23 June 2014, while the number of cases had risen from 635 on 23 June to 759, a 20% increase- the largest outbreak, in terms of cases, deaths and geographical spread to affect Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. In Monrovia, the EVD has now struck several suburban townships and municipalities, including New Kru Town, Paynesville, as well as Central Monrovia, among a few others, in addition to the northwestern county of Lofa with a reported death toll of 30.

More scaring and worrisome, is the latest report of the death of the Head of Surgeon at the government-run Redemption Hospital in the Borough of New Kru Town (name withheld) on Tuesday after he had been quarantined at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor, where he was being monitored up to his demise. He is reported to have died after treating a health worker, who died of Ebola at Redemption.

The female health worker on duty died at the Redemption Hospital recently after she supervised an Ebola patient admitted at the hospital. The sudden death of Esther Kesselee led Health Ministry authorities in Monrovia to shut down the Redemption Hospital and transferred all patients to other government hospitals in the capital.

With the solidarity expressed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the staff and Nurses at the hospital after the death of Madam Kesselee during a visit to the Redemption Hospital on June 17, 2014, it is incumbent upon all societal stakeholders to join the aware campaign, in every manner and form, with more vigour to save our population and nation.

We must face the reality; Ebola-a haemorrhagic fever that has no cure, is spread by contact with the fluids of infected people or animals, such as urine, sweat and blood. And considering the nature of the Liberian society, it is about time as a matter of urgency, that we all join President Sirleaf and the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and international partners ‘to fight this Ebola war’ to victory.

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