Liberia: Ruling Party Lawmaker Blames Infighting Among Health Ministry, Public Health Institute Cause of Spike in COVID-19 Cases
Monrovia – Senator Saah Joseph on Tuesday attributed the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Liberia to the lack of awareness in communities and the lack of support to health workers. This, he said, boils down to an infight between the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health of Liberia.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Senator Joseph wrote: “MOH vs NPHIL! Because of your in-house fight, the number of cases are increasing on a daily basis. No communities awareness activities, where is the hazard support to health workers? You will be called upon to answer those questions.”
As of 10am on June 22, 2020, Liberia had reported 652 active confirmed cases, 34 deaths and 270 recoveries.
FrontPageAfrica has gathered that the Ministry of Health and NPHIL have been at odds over processes that led to the recruitment of 6,000, who were recruited by the Monrovia City Corporation and NPHIL as “active case finders”.
The City Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee, announced via the corporation’s Facebook page that the MCC recruited “individuals from each community” around Monrovia as “active case tracers” that will be “processing data on related health situations, doing regular temperature checks, accessing situations that show semblance of the [COVID-19] virus like cold, cough, severe breathing, etc.” The MCC release also stated that “all samples collected will be sent to MCC Data Center at our HQ; MCC Data Analysts will then send findings to NPHIL for action.”
FrontPageAfrica has gathered the Ministry of Health is reportedly refusing to pay “active case finders” hired for the three-month period until the ministry can verify the number of people recruited by the MCC.
To date, FrontPageAfrica gathers, those recruited as “contact tracers” have not been paid since they were recruited two months ago, with some threatening to stage a protest to call government’s attention to their situation.
According to Monsterrado County Senator Joseph the lingering infight between the Ministry of Health and NPHIL is solely responsible for the rise in COVID-19 cases, threatening to invite the Ministry of Health and NPHIL for questioning. “We will invite you people for questioning,” he posted.
In response to Senator Joseph’s post, Monsterrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillion encouraged his colleague to continue to voice out critical concerns in the interest of the Liberian people. “Good concern, my dear colleague. I only hope this post will not be taken down. Let us keep the Light on for our people,” he posted.
This is not the first time Senator Joseph, a ruling party lawmaker in the lower house, has come public with his criticisms about issues in the country. On June 14, Senator Joseph in a Facebook post, described as appalling the World Food Program’s charge of $9 million for $21 million food distribution to the country. “This should not be allowed be allowed to happen in a poor country like ours. This is not free money! It is a loan that we, the people of Liberia, must pay. COVID-19 is real. Stay Safe,” he said.