The pathetic story of seventeen children whose parents died due to the insidious Ebola virus disease in Tubmanburg, Bomi County demands that the Liberian government establish an Ebola Orphaned Children Secretariat to handle their needs.
This proposal was made by Mr. Anthony L. M. Boakai, executive director of the Forerunners of Children Universal Rights for Survival, (FOCUS), a child advocacy group in Monrovia, following a recent visit to Bomi County.
He told the Daily Observer that the children, both males and females, need urgent intervention in the form of clothes, food, medicine, along with a positive environment to give them hope for their survival.
The Liberian government should set up an ‘Ebola Orphaned Children Secretariat’ to provide care for those orphaned by the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.
“These children must not be allowed to become liabilities on the Liberian society in the future,” Boakai said, “and therefore we must establish the means of intervention now.”
He commended Street Child of Liberia, (SCoL), which is also a child advocacy body, for its urgent initiative to provide food, clothes, toys, medicine, to identified Ebola- orphans in selected areas in the country.
Street Child of Liberia began distribution of mattresses, food, argo oil and medicines to the first quota of 30 orphans, from the total of 174 orphans in their data base.
According to CHL program director Michael Bull, the beneficiaries included children in West Point, Monrovia, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, and Banjor in Virginia, Montserrado County.
Boakai said SCL’s intervention is one effective way to prevent more emotional devastation to the children whose parents, became victims of the Ebola scourge.
He said from June to October this year, 114 Ebola made-orphans have died in Montserrado County, including 77 males and 37 females, quoting his organization’s statistics.
Boakai has meanwhile recommended the involvement of psycho-social counselors, female Ebola survivors and nursery school teachers to cater to the psychological, moral, spiritual, and educational needs of the children.
He said it would be a disservice to humanity if stakeholders should wait for the number of Ebola orphaned children to escalate further without adopting any intervention strategy. He was therefore urging the Liberian government to adopt a well coordinated National Program to address the plight of such at risk children in the country.