MONROVIA – Since the news of the discovery of a new case of the Ebola Virus Disease in neighboring Guinea, there has been panic in the public about the preparedness of Liberia health sector to face a new case of Ebola in the wake of efforts to contain COVID-19.
This panic has driven public opinion that has led the Senate to act by inviting authorities of the country’s health sector to appear and give a status report on what is Liberia doing in preparedness of a possible outbreak of Ebola.
On Thursday, Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah and Ms. Jane Macauley Director general of the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL) appeared before the Senate and announced that there is no case as Ebola in Liberia and that there is a suspected case that is being accessed and tested.
The health officials also informed members of the Senate that the country’s health sector is currently on high alert as countries bordering Liberia are being monitored by testing people entering from these countries bordering Liberia.
Ms. Jane Macauley told Senators that: “We are ensuringthat there is adequate screening in and out of our border points by taking temperature and washing hands. We have five counties on alert which include; Lofa, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, Bong Montserrado.
Liberia’s experience in EVD, according to NPHIL has enabled it to be in preparedness for any outbreak. “We are on alert and when I say alert, I mean really high alert so that if there is a case we are ready to respond.
Vaccine for Ebola
Dr. Wilhemina Jallah According to Health Minister she has made contact with the Director General of the World Health Organization Afro on how or whether Liberia can access some of the vaccine. “The original idea was that only countries with positive result and I made a case that we have previous history of Ebola and that lot of health care workers could be exposed and we are on the readiness for the vaccine.”
She also informed the Senate that Liberia has applied for COVID-19 vaccine and could receive over hundred thousand of the vaccine in March of this year and targeted groups for the vaccines are health care workers, elderlypeople, and security offices, amongst others.
“We are also considering people from the international community residing in Liberia as people who will receive the vaccine and up to a million individuals will be able to receive the vaccine,” Dr. Jallah said.
Meanwhile, the Senate has place a halt on the collection of expenditure fees for COVID-19 testing being collectedat the Airport until investigation is conducted.