Our Problem With Liberian Gov’t Officials Getting Away With Murder
THE RESURFACING of the deadly Ebola Virus outbreak in neighbouring Guinea which at last count reported four deaths shows that although Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have made strides in curbing the outbreak which killed some 11,300 people in the three countries combined is still very much within our midst.
THE RESURGENCE of the virus in Guinea has prompted caution from the World Health Organization (WHO) that Ebola could resurface at any time, since it can linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of some survivors. The world’s worst recorded Ebola epidemic is believed to have started in Guinea and killed about 2,500 people there by December last year, at which points the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) said it was no longer actively transmitted.
THE WHO DECLARATION comes as the government of Sierra Leone is marking the end of the recent flare-up of Ebola virus disease in the country. The WHO has since warned that both Liberia and Guinea are still at risk.
THIS LATEST FLARE-UP of Ebola brings to 3,590 the number of lives lost in Sierra Leone to an epidemic that devastated families and communities across the country and disrupted every aspect of life. Today marks another milestone in the country’s effort to defeat Ebola,” it said.
THE RESURGENCE come as Liberia appears to be taking a relax approach to an outbreak and even more concerned about the fanfare over who did what during the crisis and showering praise on top officials at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and those at the helm of Ebola the late Ebola response.
LAST WEEK, a FrontPageAfrica investigative report revealed that some of the vehicles donated by international partners are now being used to pick up and ship crush rocks for officials in government. In some instances, FrontPageAfrica reporters have seen some of the vehicles donated for the purpose of transporting patients during the outbreak being used for commercial purposes to transport passengers for profit.
OFFICIALS AT THE MINISTRY of Health and Social Welfare are standing by while earnings of taxpayers from foreign nations who came to our aid during Ebola are being misused and abused for selfish gains.
IT IS NO SECRET that the major reason why so many people died from the outbreak in Liberia was due to the fact that there was virtually no working ambulance to take suspected cases to treatment centers. Until the intervention of the international community, there weren’t even enough centers available to treat suspected cases.
NURSES AT government-run hospitals lacked essentials like gloves, sanitizers and other medical accessories to protect themselves against the virus. As a result, Liberia lost some prominent doctors and medical practitioners due to the negligence of those at the helm of leadership.
TODAY, THE WHO and other international partners are working hard to keep the virus at bay and from resurfacing at the level that brought the world to its knees.
THIS IS WHY authority in those countries are being warned that they are still at risk of Ebola flare-ups, largely due to virus persistence in some survivors, and must remain on high alert and ready to respond. “Strong surveillance and emergency response capacity need to be maintained, along with rigorous hygiene practices at home and in health facilities and active community participation,” the WHO said in a statement last week.
A MAJOR PART OF keeping surveillance and emergency response is making sure that there are sufficient emergency vehicles available to be called into action in the event of another outbreak.
STANDING BY and seeing drivers and lower-level official misuse and abuse vehicles donated by international partners is not a sign of good leadership and reflects poorly on the government and its leaders.
WE APPLAUD efforts by the Sirleaf government in the latter stages of the outbreak to curb the outbreak and international partners from coming to Liberia’s aid. What we need more than ever before is to begin building a more resilient health system that can prevent, detect and respond to future outbreaks and to revive and strengthen essential health services across the country, not just on paper but in reality.
THIS ENTAILS ensuring that those task with the responsibility to lead do not abuse their powers and protect and preserve aid donations for emergency purposes.
THIS ENTAILS our President holding those accountable and responsible to the fire for standing by and allowing aid money, materials and supplies go to waste and deterioration.
THIS ENTAILS our government standing up and delivering for the people who elected them to ensure that health care is available for all and not just those who can afford to travel when they become sick while doing nothing to safeguard and protect the little emergency equipment at our disposal.
THIS IS THE PROBLEM we have with this government and those at the helm of power. For the sake of our future and the generations yet unborn, it is important for this important issue to be addressed and those responsible for doing nothing about it, shown the door, because they mean nothing well for Liberia or the President who appointed them to serve those languishing at the bottom of the poverty line.
A HINT TO THE WISE…