Montserrado County Health Team, IRC Urge Liberians to Take COVID-19 Vaccine

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Some of the visually impaired posed with stakeholders.

The Montserrado County Health Team in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has launched a surveillance center for coronavirus in the R2 Community, Paynesville City to boost vaccinations.

Mildred Harris, Senior Program Coordinator of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) the selection of the community is based on data received, which revealed the need to move into the community to administer the vaccine and provide treatment if someone is tested positive of the coronavirus. 

“We help the Montserrado County Health Team with finance and make sure that everything is put in place to have the testing done and also help to put the budget together. We help them mobilize the community and follow-up through encouragement and all IPC protocols are in place,” said Madam Harris.

Madam Harris said four communities are being targeted currently, including R2 Community, Cow Field in Duport Road, 18th and 20th streets in Sinkor, which is based on data generated. According to Madam Harris, community entrance is carried out ahead of the vaccination drive.

“We come and encourage the community first that the coronavirus is not a death sentence so everyone should turn out for the test. If you are tested positive, we have a good treatment center and you will be properly taken care of,” she said.

“We want to particularly encourage the youths who are involved in going out for parties and refuse to wear their masks and other things,” Madam Harris said during the official launch of the COVID-19 surveillance at the home of the Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) in R2.

Meanwhile, Montserrado County Superintendent, Florence F. Brandy who officially launched the COVID-19 enhanced surveillance said she was impressed with the vaccine drive. 

“We have been talking about getting everyone involved and today, we were able to come to the home of the disabled people and visually impaired. Interestingly, they have promised to join us to make sure that those in the Duazon Community come and do the test,” Superintendent Brandy said.

She calls on community leaders to ensure that the turnout for the testing is encouraging, stating “the test is not a death sentence, therefore, coming out will be the best decision for everyone and the community in particular.”

Superintendent Brandy said authorities at the Ministry of Health (MoH) have instituted measures to ensure that people who may have the coronavirus are treated properly, stating “there is a possibility that one may be treated at home based on health workers’ advice.

Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Research and Development Planning, Olayee S. Collins, said encouraging Liberians to turnout for the COVID-19 test is the best way of keeping the people healthy.

“It’s important to know your status. For some time, we have not been testing and I’m happy that we have started this initiative. Again, it’s also reminding the people that the fight against COVID-19 is not yet over in Liberia,” Mr. Collins said.

Mr. Collins said he believes that the R2 Community will have one of the best results in terms of testing looking at difficult communities previously worked through the provision of the coronavirus testing. 

He said contacts generated in the R2 Community showed that more people are prepared to turn out for the testing and hopeful of one thousand people. 

Gregory W. Walker, a member of the Montserrado County Health Team said the county currently has 19 coronavirus cases with 28 contacts, which call for more work if Liberia is to be free of the coronavirus. 

Mr. Walker lauded partners for the continued support to the Ministry of Health and the Montserrado County Health team in the fight against COVID-19. 

“We want to ensure that Liberians are not falling in the street sick. Therefore, moving into the community to vaccinate our people must be laudable. Today, the United States has put Liberia on the map of having community infection. We will continue to comb the community to keep our people safe,” Mr. Walker said.   

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