‘Divide Country into 3 Ebola Fighting Zones’

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The Chairman of Senate Committee on Internal Affairs and Governance, Armah Zulu Jallah of Gbarpolu County, has proposed several recommendations he believes will help the fight against the spread of the Ebola epidemic. He said the recommendations require a Legislative Resolution that the Government should be  encouraged to implement.

In a communication to the Senate plenary at its 56th day sitting, Senator Jallah recommended that the country be divided into three zones of five counties each.

Zone 1, according to the Gbarpolu lawmaker, will comprise of Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties; Zone 2 includes Margibi, Lofa, Bong, Nimba and Rivercess Counties. Maryland, Grand Kru, River Gee, Sinoe and Grand Gedeh will fall into Zone 3.

The technical management of the three zones should be undertaken by “our international partners such as World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Samaritan Purse, or Medicins Sans Frontiers, while the Government of Liberia shall continue to provide security, political and financial resources to those managing each of these zones where necessary.”

Further, Senator Jallah recommended that an assessment of the Ebola situation be conducted, which  reflects the resources needed to fight the battle until the virus is eliminated.

“With the information available on the assessment, the present national draft budget of the Republic of Liberia 2014/2015 should be recast to provide for such anticipated expenditures to fight Ebola. We may not be able to achieve our development goal in the presence of this disease in our country and sub-region.

In order to rebuild confidence in the country’s screening program at the international airports and seaports, “such screening should now be outsourced to organizations such as the CDC for proper control and management. The recommendation, if applied, shall restore confidence in airlines that cancelled flights, thus resuming flights to Liberia.”

Senator Jallah recognized what he described as tremendous efforts being made by the Government of Liberia, local and international partners, communities and their leaders in curtailing further spread of the Ebola virus.

“But the Government of Liberia’s effort seems not to be yielding much result, partly due to cultural, traditional beliefs and system weakness serving as barriers to effective eradication.”

The Senate plenary is expected to discuss Senator Jallah’s communication today.

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