Authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW) have disclosed a total number of 200 deaths from Ebola in the sub-region, with Guinea being the hardest hit in the region since the outbreak of the deadly virus in March 2014.
While the Republic of Guinea is recording more deaths as new cases are reported everyday, neighboring Sierra Leone has began to report new cases of the virus, which has so far claimed a few lives in that country.
Speaking at the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) on Thursday June 5, the Deputy Minister and Chief Medical Officer of the Republic, Dr. Bernice T. Dahn, said the Liberian Government and partners have stepped up efforts in response to the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
According to Dahn, the move by the government is aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus into Liberia from neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone, and no new cases have been reported by health petitioners around the country so far.
Dr. Dahn said some of the concrete steps taken by the Health Ministry include “contact tracing of persons suspected of coming in contact with people affected with the virus, surveillance, social mobilization, and the distribution and airing of messages on Ebola prevention in the local dialects.”
Dr. Dahn further stated: “We have provided personal protective equipment and chlorine for all bordering counties with Sierra Leone to enable us fight the deadly virus.”
She also disclosed that a team of medical petitioners from the Health Ministry is in Lofa County to strengthen the county heath team on issues of the virus in neighboring Guinea on the basic of prevention and other health services related.
According to Dr. Dahn, the team held a cross-border meeting in Guéckédu, Guinea, Tuesday, June 3, aimed at strengthening collaboration, follow-ups, information sharing, and communication among the three Mano River Union Countries.
“Some of the key issues of concern among member states that contribute to the increase in the Ebola cases include addressing traditional and cultural beliefs, burial ceremonies for deceased Ebola victims, and health workers taking infection control measures when attending to patients,” she added.
The Chief Medical Officer said the situation in Guinea and Sierra Leone suggests that the Ebola outbreak is severe in the neighboring countries and there were need that Liberia puts in place a proper mechanism to control and prevent its spread.
The Deputy Minister disclosed that “Sierra Leone reported 58 tested Ebola cases of which 18 were confirmed in the Kailahun District. The disease has claimed six lives in Sierra Leone and 114 deaths have been confirmed in Guinea. Out of 328 cumulative cases, Ebola has claimed the lives of 200 people in the sub-region.”