A Professor of International Health, Hans Rosling, has welcomed government’s pronouncement calling for the re-opening of schools across the country.
Like other parents and education stakeholders, Rosling said the re-opening of schools as announced by government should not be understood as a sign that Liberia is Ebola-free, but that the government was concerned about the academic achievement of her citizenry.
According to him, the government decision should rather be considered as a means to increase “response and surveillance” so that the Ebola virus disease (EVD) does not resurface following the resumption of academic activities.
Rosling made the statement on Monday at the Ministry of Information daily Ebola press conference held at the Ministry in Monrovia.
He noted that Liberians have acquired sufficient knowledge in the prevention of the Ebola virus. He, therefore, pledged his full support to government’s effort to re-open schools in the country.
According to Rosling, if Liberians redouble their efforts in preventing further transmissions of the EVD, the disease will be eradicated from the country in the shortest period of time.
Rosling is on a special assignment with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).
He explained, among other things, that the Ebola virus cannot be transmitted during the first 24 hours of infection; therefore, he believes that the reopening of schools will not lead to an outbreak as many have feared.
He then appealed to all Liberians, especially parents, not to allow their children to go to school when they are showing signs of fever or other illnesses until that student is diagnosed negative of the Ebola virus.
He also cautioned Liberians to assist the country in the process of dropping Ebola cases to “Zero” by refraining from complacent behaviors, which might cause the virus to resurface.
Following the pronouncement of schools re-opening, many parents and guardians have given mix reactions, some of which have to do with financial constraints and or fear for the Ebola virus.