MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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We would like to begin the New Year on a high note by paying special tribute to all health care providers-medical doctors, nurses, clergymen and women, volunteers and others who lost their lives to the Ebola epidemic of 2014.

We thank them for their sacrifices, display of valor, professionalism, selflessness and uncommon volunteer action that has inspired all of us. Because of their action and sacrifices, we look forward to 2015 with renewed energy and commitment believing that all interventions put in place in the fight against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) would eventually lead to the eradication of EVD from Liberia.

Building a lasting, multimedia memorial for those whose sacrifices provide us with a space to live would be a worthwhile project. As a nation, we need to commemorate the lives of those lost to EVD so as not to forget what we have been through and what lies ahead.

Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia takes this opportunity to call on Government of Liberia, International Organizations and Civil societies to provide the much needed coordination policy to end the fight against Ebola, to strengthen the health care system and to equip our schools with hygienic facilities and supplies. We can only improve the lives of those that have survived and honor the memories of those who lost their lives to the epidemic. According to Albert Camus in The Plague-“What is true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well; it helps men to rise above themselves.”

Together, we have come this far. The concept of “it takes a village” is given further expression through such all-embracing action of our heroes and heroines. For us at MOP-Liberia, we are refreshed to know that our hard work, through the various community education outreach programme and weekly column has paid off and we remain committed and ready to develop programmes that protect young people, particularly children against all risks. We intend to go further on a new journey that leads to the prevention, control and eradication of EVD from Liberia.

For a disease with such high fatality and social consequences as Ebola, the wise saying that prevention is better than cure makes cannot be overemphasized. It is on this premise that we would like to request the Government of Liberia to continue ensuring the safety of all our health care providers and volunteers risking their lives in the fight against the Ebola virus.

On a related note, we are pleased that schools are scheduled to reopen next month and we are quick to caution that if there are no concrete steps to equip schools and educate the youth about EVD, as well as put in place the necessary precautionary measures, then the mediocrity that places us at risk will continue. A long term plan and strategy should be employed to guarantee the safety of our children.

News of significant progress in the development of effective vaccines deserves our attention, particularly considering the expert opinion of their safety and we are optimistic that the treatment regimen, protocols and vaccines would make the difference.  Beyond the scientific breakthrough of Ebola vaccines, we must remember to address the issues surrounding the political sluggishness, unemployment, corruption and grossly inadequate healthcare infrastructure, among others, which constitute a drawback to the progress made so far.

Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Notes of Forward Looking Interventions in the Fight against Ebola”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth!

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