The County Health Officer for Bong County, Dr. Sampson Azoakoi has confirmed four cases of the Ebola virus at the Phebe Hospital.
Addressing journalists recently in Gbarnga, Dr. Azoakoi explained that a nurse working at the Phebe Hospital was confirmed of the virus while four other health workers were suspected of the disease.
The County Health Officer informed journalists that statistics has established a total of eight suspected cases, five probable total cases and four confirmed cases reported.
Dr. Azoakoi was swift to notify reporters that the confirmed and suspected cases have already being transferred to Monrovia at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare testing and treatment centers.
He lamented that the nurse whose name was not disclosed contracted the virus while catering to a patient suspected to have died from the Ebola disease at the Phebe Hospital early this month.
The County Health Officer named the lack of chlorine, training for health workers, myth and entrenched disbelief of many people about the existence of Ebola, church and church related organization failure to use the pulpit to preach anti Ebola messages, and limited funding to create more awareness on the disease as some major challenges confronting the county health team in combating the disease.
“Can you imagine we have only one ambulance in the county? So, if a confirmed case is being taken to Monrovia, we have to wait for the ambulance to return before taking any person whether suspected or not” Dr. Azoakoi emphasized.
Commenting on protective equipment for health workers in the county, the health officer said the Ministry of Health and partners have made available some defensive gears for health workers in the county, but was quick to state that equipment were not enough to cover everyone.
The Liberian Medical Practitioner told newsmen that the county health team in collaboration with its partners was doing everything possible to ensure that all health facilities will remain functional despite the reported cases of Ebola in the county.
At the same time, Dr. Azoakoi has called on nurses and health workers in the county not to turn down patients who are coming to the hospitals for treatment.
Meanwhile, Dr. Azoakoi has warned residents of Gbarnga against the doubting of the existence of the deadly Ebola virus.
Signs and symptoms of Ebola include, fever, nausea, tiredness, headache, vomiting diarrhea, coughing and bleeding.
He told journalists that despite the number of deaths reported in recent times, there are some people in the county who are persistently denying the existence of the virus.
The County Health Officer described the act as barbaric and said has the propensity to spread the disease, making it difficult to fight the virus.
He then encouraged community residents to join the County Health team to increase the fight against the disease and urged them (residents) not to stay away from the hospital.
In March of this year the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare confirmed the existence of the Ebola virus in the country and advised the public to take preventive measures since there is no cure for it.
The Ministry warned the citizens against the consumption of bush meat especially monkey meat, fruit, bats and chimpanzee, and encouraged them to always take the sick to the hospital.
The World Health Organization reported that more than 500 people have died from the disease which started from neighboring Guinea and to Sierra Leone and Liberia early this year.
This is the largest number of deaths from the Ebola disease since it was discovered in 1976 in former Zaire now Democratic Republic of Congo.