‘Liberia Risks Disease Outbreaks Amid Sanitation Problem’

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— says Biomedical scientist and activist, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan

Prominent biomedical scientist and social activist, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, has said that, “a major outbreak of Cholera and Hepatitis A infection may be looming over Liberia, if the government does not urgently address the proper disposal of mountains of garbage and solid wastes that has accumulated and sits in and around the Capital, Monrovia and its environs.”

“I remember that several clean-up campaigns were announced after the new government was inaugurated in January 2018, but these campaigns have done nothing substantial to address the increasing volume of solid wastes that has piled up around Monrovia,” said the award-winning infectious diseases doctor, and “this is the danger of politicizing health and environmental issues.”

He made the statements recently during a conference with journalists to address the growing concerns of government’s inability to clean up the garbage in Monrovia, Liberia’s Capitol. Also in nearby Paynesville City, a suburb of Monrovia, residents and marketeers have been complaining about the stock pile of garbage. In most market places, including Duala another suburban area, marketeers sell their produce, surrounded by piles of garbage, solid waste and flies.

“The garbage is a breeding ground for flies and other disease-carrying insects, which we call vectors. This puts our food supply at a serious health risk in these open markets and in homes that are surrounded by garbage. With the rainy season setting in, the population may be even more vulnerable to food and water-borne infections such Cholera and Hepatitis-A that could translate into outbreaks if the situation is not addressed by the authorities,” Dr. Nyan stated.

Responding to questions on news reports of some city authorities telling residents to bury or burn garbage, Dr. Nyan said, “the population is being ill-advised as burning the garbage is not a wise solution, since burning of garbage by residents could also lead to air pollution and create respiratory illnesses including lung cancer in the long run.”

He continued, “there are proper garbage and waste disposal mechanisms that meet environmentally friendly standards that can be applied, but the apparent lack of a well-structured waste-disposal plan, knowledge and expertise on the part of the municipal authorities poses an additional problem of incompetence and neglect.”

Asked whether he had any recommendations to help solve this problem, the renowned infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Nyan, offered that, “I can attempt to make a bundle of suggestions as usual, but hope it will be accepted with an open mind by the authorities. In that regard, I will propose that the National Public Health Institute and the Environmental Protection Agency need to urgently draw up a workable plan along with the Monrovia City Council, so as to properly dispose of the solid wastes with environmentally safer procedures such as establishing sanitary landfills, incineration, salvaging, and composting, just to name a few; the National Public Health Institute needs to conduct periodic preparedness drills to prepare public health workers in anticipation of an outbreak,” Dr. Nyan insisted.

The award-winning scientist also added that, “I would advise the general population desist from burning garbage; to sufficiently boil drinking water or to drink bottled water if they can afford it; to cook food with the proper temperature so as to kill microorganisms (those tiny, tiny little things that can cause diseases); to frequently wash their hands or using hand sanitizers is also encouraged.”

He mentioned that, “through a pan-African collaborative effort, I could also help to connect the Monrovia City Council with the City Mayor and Council of Kigali (Rwanda), one of the cleanest cities in the world, so as to gather expert knowledge and learn how the City of Kigali keeps its environment clean.”

Dr. Nyan, a medical doctor and inventor, has won global recognition for inventing the Rapid Multiplex Pathogen Diagnostic Test called, the Nyan-Test. It detects multiple infections within an hour and identifies the detected infections simultaneously. He is the 2017 laureate of the African Innovation Prize Award Special Prize for Social Impact and recently received a US Patent for his invention from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

As Director of the Diaspora Ebola Task-force during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Liberia, West Africa, Dr. Nyan testified before the United States Congress. His congressional testimony and recommendations contributed to establishing the Center for Disease Control in Africa, US involvement in fighting the Ebola outbreak, and establishing regional public health institutes in Liberia and the sub-regions.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Will Liberian listen to him or the high school dropouts that are everywhere making decisions for the nation?

    Liberian are already drinking their Toilets daily?
    How? If you have all the Septic Tanks around a drinking Water Well, what are you drinking?

    Sanitation is Engineering, Science, Medical, etc.
    It is not something high school dropouts can understand.
    Why don’t you know that in the 21 century by now? Instead you are talking about ‘da book we le eat?’
    Again, only the best of educated Liberian can move the country forward.
    God bless.

  2. your sat down there knowing mayor koijee know nothing of leadership and management. this gronau boy your put there WHERE IS MARY BROH/

  3. The horrendous health hazards of exposed garbage piles are no secrets, but the instructive information here is Dr. Nyan’s advice against waste burning; and, I guess, especially uncontrolled burning in the open. However, what jolted me was that he would refer our MCC authorities to Kigali in Rwanda rather than make recommendations how to deal with an acknowledged public safety threat.

    It bigly brings us to the bad-tempered elephant in the room, where can the new MCC authorities locate “the well-structured waste-disposal plan” left behind by a previous government our infectious diseases scientist prominently associated with? Lest we forget, garbage piles didn’t materialize in Monrovia with the coming of Mayor Kojee to the City Council.

    And we’re talking about a past government led by the “most schooled” President in our history at a time reportedly direct investment of US $16 billion poured in to fund compensation increases for few fat cats ranging from US $10, 000 to US $ 30, 000 monthly amid pervasive poverty of the rest of our people. Dr Nyan should’ve helped in seeking solutions, not politicize a public safety hazard after the government is already meeting the challenge without his input.

    • so because he did not talk during Ellen time that mean he is not right? Monrovia was not dirty under Ellen like now. Stop trying to apologize for these bunch of thieves. The waste disposal plan was what kojee was to put in place. So because people shit in the streets during Ellen time so the people should still shit in the streets during Weah time? The people don’t know how to run government and they love dirt/

    • Garbage Overflow In The Streets Of Monrovia: The Impact On Human Health And The Environment.
      By: Taiyee Quenneh, PhD
      July 17, 2019

      I wonder if Mr. Baghdad Moses saw this other musing by another doctor on the same subject matter? Or is Dr. Nyan a soft target and for some sinister motive bordering on some unfinished business having to do with the good old doc and his genre, “the progressives?” Futile adventure in that regard, Mr. Baghdad Moses. At least Dr. Nyan is renown for something good, constructive and in the interest of humanity, as compared to your scurrilous serpentine and discredited character. Misery shall be your companion the remaining days of your idle and diabolical life. If so astute in running government then why are you not in Monrovia instead of wasting what is left of your miserable life as an internet troll? “Your will learn!”

  4. Partisan politicos parading as change agents will always hide behind pseudonyms to write illogical crap. I’m not stopping Dr. Nyan from talking; however, I expect a scientist to stick to truth in all its ramifications.

    As a matter of fact, after a Harvard Law School Professor, connected with writing of the UN Treaty against biological warfare, stated that from the beginning Ebola was created in labs for military purposes, and that attributing its 2014 reemergence to infested monkeys, etc. was a hoax; not surprisingly, some curious citizens of the affected countries would like to hear Dr. Nyan’s response.

    Not to mention the Messenger App-shared confession of Apartheid-era officer Keith Maxwell of the Marine Research Institute of South Africa that they “purposely spread HIV/AIDs to wipe out Blacks in South Africa” reinforces the need to hear what Dr. Nyan has to say. Until floodlights are beamed on things that exterminate us (be they foreign covert aggression with local accomplices, or using people as lab rats for experiments), we will forever remain the reliable disposable ‘rejects’ of powerful wicked foreign powers.

  5. Mr. Moses, don’t’ you see what is in our MONROVIA, is this a party thing, or the love of MAMA LIBERIA

  6. one thing everyone here has in common is this: we all agree that monrovia is dirty and must and should be cleaned. no Ifs or ands about that. so, again, coming here and calling each other names is not the solution to our problems. each and everyone of us has the right to speak our piece and we all have a vested interest in Mama Liberia. So, how can we advance suggestions to help to clean the city? The million dollar question

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