Global Alliance Helped Liberia During Ebola Outbreak, Says Ex-President Sirleaf

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Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf underscored that the deadly Ebola virus could not be easily contained or restrained if the necessary support was not accorded Liberia during the 2014 outbreak.

Monrovia – Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has attributed the influx of logistical and financial support galvanized by her administration to combat against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to strong alignment, cooperation, and collective works between ex-United States President Barack Obama, other countries and her government.

Nearly 5000 persons died in Liberia as a result of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the country in 2014, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Madam Sirleaf disclosed that following the outbreak of the killer disease in the post-conflict nation, she personally made a telephone call to President Obama, and wrote a letter to the world soliciting help and support.

She made these comments in an interview with CNN on Friday.

“President Obama responded so graciously and fully. He then sent the US army troops to build a military hospital; he then mobilized member states and we got support from Germany, China, Norway and many other countries; and then came the African solidarity”.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former Liberian President

She maintained that the former US President was informed about a global threat which hanged over, not only Liberia at the time, but other African and western nations as a result of the outbreak.

Madam Sirleaf added that she also underscored that the disease could not be easily contained or restrained if the necessary support was not accorded Liberia at the time

“President Obama responded so graciously and fully. He then sent the US army troops to build a military hospital; he then mobilized member states and we got support from Germany, China, Norway and many other countries; and then came the African solidarity”.

“The African Union mobilized resources for the private sector. They were able to front for young Africans to come from several countries and to join our citizens in Liberia to be able to combat this disease”.

She termed as an “extraordinary effort of alignments, cooperation, and collective actions” that move that immensely contributed towards the eradication of EVD from Liberia.

“I hope that’s what we’ll see for Covid-19-we’re going to see global alliances improved, and more collaborations”.

Madam Sirleaf further expressed the hope that the outbreak of the Coronavirus across the world would lead to “consciousness to policy actions” that would help reduce the “inequities of the world, recognizing that anyone left behind becomes a threat to those who are ahead”.

Lockdown is temporary

Since the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus across the world, including Liberia, authorities have introduced a lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus in their respective countries.

But the lockdown, particularly in Liberia, has not been workable as citizens continue to move from one place to another above the 3PM stay home hour in search of food and other basic necessities for them and their respective family members’ survival.

Since the lockdown commenced on April 10, cases of Covid-19 continue to rapidly increase in Liberia.

As of May 12, 2020 about 20 persons have died of Covid-19 in Liberia, while 213 cases remain active, according to the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL)..

Madam Sirleaf said though the restriction of citizens’ movement appears to be workable at the initial stage of the pandemic, the move cannot be used to guarantee the full eradication of the virus from Liberia.

“The containment of movements may be necessary in the beginning; but that has to be temporary until measures are put into place”.

She, however, underscored the need for the building of a resilient and responsive health system to combat against infectious diseases.

 “We have to go beyond Covid and Ebola. There are other infectious diseases that require support. More people in Liberia and other countries have died from malaria; and malaria is still lacking the kind of support that we have not seen a long time ago”.

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