Chiefs, Elders Pledge Support in Combating Ebola

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The National Traditional Council of Chiefs of Liberia, headed by Chief Zanzan Karwor and comprising elders of the 16 tribes of Liberia, has pledged its support in combating the deadly Ebola virus in the country.

Speaking at the Internal Affairs Ministry Wednesday, Chief Karwor said the chiefs and elders will join in efforts to combat the deadly Ebola virus, to include messages informing rural dwellers on measures to fight the virus.

According to Chief Karwor, he will ensure that chiefs and elders go from district to district informing the rural dwellers of the deadly Ebola virus and respecting the health workers while conducting tests and other health medical works.

He called on chiefs and elders to inform their people to respect the health practitioners in discharging their health duties and preventing the Ebola virus from spreading to other parts of the country.     

“We want to assure the government that the chiefs and elders of Liberia, including the 16 tribes, that we will served as task force for the counties through the means given to us,” he said.

The chief continued, “If doctors and other health workers can die from the epidemic, it proves that we need to work harder to curtail the virus and make our people safe.”

He disclosed that, many people in the rural areas were involved in playing with dead bodies before burial, as a way of observing traditions.  But in the wake of the Ebola outbreak, he pledged to discontinue the practice.

The head of the NTCL used the occasion to appeal to the Health Ministry and its partners to continue showing the faces of Ebola survivors,  especially those in the rural areas, to help support the fight and awareness of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Nestor NDAYIMIRIJE, said 166 people have died from the virus since the outbreak in March, including 28 health practitioners and doctors.

According to him, “Those who are dying from the virus were not foreigners but rather Liberians; so, don’t touch the body of Ebola victims or suspected cases.  He urged the chiefs and elders to monitor or report those involved  with touching confirmed and suspected persons.” 

‘If you see anyone in the community of suspected cases of the virus, they should be observed carefully by the community to ensure that others are not affected from that case.”

He called on the chiefs and elders to support the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Morris Dukuly,  has promised to work with the traditional chiefs and elders and other reputable institutions to combat the deadly Ebola in the country.

The Minister said he was working with the Health Ministry to deploy health workers between Lofa and Bong, as well as between Cape Mount and Bomi, to ensure that travelers do not transmit the virus to other counties.

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