With the alarming cases of the deadly Ebola virus in Grand Cape Mount County, the Liberian Government’s Incident Management System (IMS) and partners have officially opened the newly constructed Ebola Treatment Unit in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County.
Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony of the ETU, the head of the Cape Mount County Health Team (CHT), Dr. Larain Cooper, explained that because the county is now in the limelight of the deadly virus, it is very important for all the villages and towns to be focused on combating the epidemic.
According to her, for the past few weeks, Grand Cape Mount has been flying the highest number of Ebola cases nationwide.
She hoped that with the opening of the treatment unit and support from the government and partners, the fight against Ebola would be completed.
Dr. Cooper said it has been very difficult convincing people to allow the health team to carry their loved ones to Monrovia, Tubmanburg and other places for the treatment when they show symptoms of the disease.
“Most of the people would be happy to see their loved ones being treated right in the county and not out. We appeal to our people to help show us everyone who is sick; or bring them to the center for treatment,” she pleaded.
Also speaking, the Head of the United Nations Mission Emergency Ebola Response in Liberia (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, said since his coming to Liberia, there has been massive improvement in the fight against the epidemic and believed that Ebola would be eradicated soon from Liberia.
Mr. Banbury explained that the urgency of ending Ebola is not just about individuals who are catching the disease and dying; but about their families, communities, their ways of life and all the actors involved in the fight against Ebola have a greater responsibility to act urgently to end the fight .
“Ebola touches many sectors of the society. Community should be more robust in ensuring that the virus is fully contained and eradicated,” he disclosed.
The UNMEER boss praised the Liberian government’s “strong leadership”, which has helped to contain the virus and bring in more international and local partners’ support to the fight against the EVD.
He said he was impressed with the roles the government, UNMEER, International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Health Organization (WHO), UNFPA and other partners continue to play in ensuring that the virus is contained; adding, “Working as a team will help us to be more successful in this fight.”
The new ETU has the capacity of 200 beds but IOM, which manages the unit, will start with 50 beds.
In remarks, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward B. Dagoseh said there were many cultural practices in the county that promote the spread of the virus in the county.
Pleased that a new ETU has now opened in the county, he sounded an appeal for more awareness throughout the county, as one of the ways of containing the spread of the epidemic.
The Head of the Incident Management System team and Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, said the government of Liberia is committed to working with partners in reaching to zero level of “no new cases” in the country.
According to him, the Cape Mount health team has setup a new strategy, including 100 percent contact tracing, awareness and taking Ebola patients to the treatment unit early and making sure that secret burials and bathing of corpses are curtailed.
He said international and local partners are also committed to working with the government in order to ensure that all mechanisms and efforts are in place to combat the disease.
“We cannot make any gain in the fight against Ebola without the effort of the residents of the county in stopping all cultural practices. We need your support and cooperation with health authorities and partners [so that] Cape Mount can be free of Ebola.”