‘Ebola is Escalating’

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The Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) says the current spread of the deadly Ebola virus is escalating.  He warned that efforts must be multiplied to urgently contain it.

This can be done with collective efforts of  government, citizens and international partners, he said.

The LNRCS secretary general, Fayiah Tamba, said that the latest confirmation from Bong, Bomi and suspected cases in Grand Gedeh Counties is an indication that the spread of the virus is now rapid and troubling.

Mr. Tamba also warned the general public to do away with the concept of denial and follow all precautionary measures, including regular hand washing and avoiding close contact with sick persons suspected of the virus.

Mr.  Tamba stressed the Red Cross will continue to scale up its vigorous operation in  seven counties including, Bong and Bomi, where Ebola cases have been reported.

Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Mano River Union, it has claimed over 660 lives in the three affected country with Guinea receiving more fatalities followed by Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is now the largest in history with more than one thousand cases and 660-deaths while more than 240 of the cases and 127-deaths occurred in Liberia.

“The Red Cross is complementing government efforts in the areas of social mobilization and awareness, contact tracing, psychosocial counseling and providing survivor kits to victims since the outbreak,” Mr. Tamba said.

Mr. Tamba also disclosed that The Red Cross, in addition to its regular services, has agreed for now  to assist the Ministry of Health in the area of dead body management and burial of Ebola victims in Montserrado.

The LNRCS has welcomed the latest move by the Government to close all borders, except the Roberts International Airport, James Springs Payne Airport, Foya Crossing, Bo Waterside Crossing and Ganta Crossing, where preventive and testing centers will be established.

The LNRCS Secretary General wants government and its partners to pay more attention to protecting health Care workers who are the front lines in this fight against the Ebola virus.

According to him, if the health workers are protected, we will regain their confidence to return to the various Health facilities that are currently abandoned across the country.

Meanwhile, the Lofa Chapter of the LNRCS says it is strongly considering to fully intervening in the Ebola outbreak in Zango town, where the death toll is now alarming.

Zango town is in the Voinjama District, with a population of little over 2000, but at least 19 people have reportedly died since the outbreak of the virus there.

According to the Red Cross Emergency Preparedness and Response Officer, Daniel Kossigbo, plans have  been concluded for the possible move in the community for social mobilization and awareness, contact tracing and psychosocial counseling.

The LNRCS has already provided survival kits to victims of Ebola in the community as well as rehabilitated two damaged hand pumps to restore community access to safe drinking water.

The Red Cross is currently complementing government efforts in 726-communities in Foya, Vahum, Bolahum, Kolahum, Zorzor and Voinjama Districts, reaching the total of at least 117,886, a number representing the total households of 2,885  since the start of the Ebola intervention in Lofa.

The Liberian Red Cross has also reached the total of 2,190 in ten Communities in Margibi under its campaign to stop further spread of the Ebola Virus in Liberia.

The Liberian Red Cross continues its vigorous operation in Montserrado, Margibi and Lofa while plans have been finalized for immediate scale-up in  Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Bong Nimba and Bomi in the coming days.

Mr. Kossigbo said the Red Cross Ebola awareness activities in the counties are making significant impact in that community members are gradually accepting the fact that Ebola exists and has no cure but denial and fear of stigma in some quarters remain challenging.

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