Barnesville Anti-Ebola Team Introduces ‘New Methods’, Awareness Is not Enough: Contact Tracing Is Key


To deal decisively with the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) and prevent it, once and for all, from further spreading,  residents of Barnesville, outside Monrovia, have developed a well coordinated ‘new method’ to carry out their interventions.

This comes against the backdrop of the intensity of the fight against the EVD across the country. 

In Barnesville, one of the housing estates off Somalia Drive, several community leaders have equally created their own interventions to eliminate the disease.

One person through whose personal financial intervention empowered leaders of the 17 communities there to develop their own methods to let go of the EVD, is the country’s the Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr.

Mr. Samukai has single-handedly outsourced the fight through the provision of over US$4,000, which he earlier donated to the team for the initiative to go out into the estate and help the people to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

The township’s general chairman, Nathaniel T. Solo, has organized ‘hardworking’ groups under the auspices of the Barnesville Ebola Awareness (Taskforce).

Mr. Solo started his interview with the Daily Observer Tuesday by first expressing gratitude to Minister Samuakai for his intervention and creative idea to infuse a new philosophy into members of the taskforce, backed by a substantial cash donation.

Mr. Solo then told our reporter that  instead of just creating awareness and sensitizing through messages as it is often done in other communities across the country, “we are involved with tracing of suspected cases, disease surveillance (close watch), and then quarantining family members of those victimized by Ebola.”

“After these processes, we often feed those quarantined for 21 days with help from Minister Samukai. The Minister has also provided 17 pieces of the non-contact thermometers to each leader of the communities. We also acknowledged the US$100 assistance from “Villagers” led  by Dee Zoe Lake,” daughter of the man who lived to be 103 before he answered the Lord’s call a few years ago.

According to Mr. Solo, he has,  in collaboration with leaders of each community group, devised a means whereby each of the 17 communities is represented by two persons who serve on the team as chair and co-chair, respectively.

He named some of Barnesville communities as Behwein, Palm Field, 1407 Block ‘C’, 1603, Kpan Town, E.J Goodride Estate, etc.

Solo said members of each group are protected from rainfall, “because each one is dressed up in a rain coat, but not allowed to come into  physical contact with suspected persons, due to the severity of the disease.”

Earlier, members of the team participated in a two-day  workshop, facilitated by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) working with the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Dr. Josiah George. 

As a result of setting up the Community Taskforce, Mr. Solo observed that community dwellers who once harbored sick relatives are now cooperating with the team,  thereby bringing their sick ones to the public for assistance.

According to Mr. Solo, what is more encouraging about the team’s interventions is that each member is compensated on a daily basis.

However, for the continuity of the exercise until Liberia is declared Ebola-free in the shortest period of time, Mr. Solo has appealed to the National Taskforce to buttress  Minister Samukai’s efforts, by giving whatever other assistance the National Task Force can to keep this good work ongoing. 

Clearly, the efforts of Minister Samukai, Mr. Solo, Dr. Josiah George and the entire people of Barnersville‘s 17 communities need support to maintain the effective work they are doing to defeat Ebola in that part of Monrovia. 


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