A Ugandan doctor is tirelessly working to ensure that several of those being afflicted by the deadly Ebola virus disease (ECD) across the country survive despite the challenges.
In the coming weeks, according to Dr. Atai Omoruto, more persons who became afflicted by the Ebola will walk out of the various treatment centers alive. “This is because doctors attending to them have now dedicated more efforts since they mustered renewed courage and momentum to fearlessly battle the disease.”
Dr. Omoruto works in Liberia as a WHO consultant on Ebola Case Management. She is currently assigned at the refurbished Island Clinic in Monrovia, where she made the statement Tuesday. She spoke yesterday at the daily Ebola news briefing held at the Ministry of Information.
Saving the lives of every Ebola patient who comes into the treatment units remains her top priority, she declared.
Dr. Omoruto: “Reopening of the Island Clinic facility is a major boost to Liberia’s Ebola fight. Nevertheless, the need for the construction of additional treatment facilities across the country to accommodate incoming patients cannot be emphasized.”
According to her, early treatment is important for a patient to survive the Ebola disease.
Based on that observation, she called on the government to intensify its sensitization and awareness messages in the various communities throughout the country so that those afflicted by the EVD will come in for early treatment upon suspecting the virus.
She also observed that living with the virus for a protracted period outside of treatment facilities was largely responsible for most of the deaths recorded so far.
“Many people like to wait until they are acutely ill before they are taken to treatment centers. This is bad, but again, let the response unit exert further efforts to become proactive.”
“If you walk early into a treatment center upon noticing the virus, you will walk out healthy and safe. But when you come in lying on stretchers, there is a very limited possibility to survive the virus,” she warned.
Meanwhile, Dr. Omoruto has disclosed that Liberia is facing “a very dangerous strain” of the EVD since the disease was discovered several years ago. This trend of progression, she believes, is due to the disease fastness in replication.
She noted that supportive treatment has proven effective against the virus, thereby motivating doctors to respond swiftly by providing intensive supportive care to patients which account for their recovery.
In a related development, WHO Technical Assistant to the Bomi County Health Team, Dr. Richard Louise, has appealed to the international community and friendly nations for more medical support to Liberia's fight against the Ebola virus.
Dr. Louise said in the absence of medical support and the cooperation from the international community, Liberian Government’s effort to contain the Ebola disease would be elusive.
Dr. Louise made the appeal over the weekend in Tubmanburg, Bomi County when Plan International’s Program Unit in the county presented preventive materials valued over US$12,000 to the Bomi County Health Team.
According to him, friendly nations and international organizations, including the European Union, African Union, ECOWAS and the United Nations, should join forces with the Government of Liberia to eradicate the EVD that is already claiming lives daily in the country.
Also speaking during the presentation ceremony, the president of the Bomi County Rural Women, Mary Varney, expressed concern about the continuous denial of the existence of the Ebola virus by some people in the county.
Madam Varney said given the reports from the county health team about infected, suspected and confirmed cases and deaths from Ebola, it is clear that the disease is real and is in the county.
She urged the people of the county and its environs to always listen to the health workers and observe the preventive measures that have been outlined to save lives.
Meanwhile, the government has warned landlords and house owners against evicting health workers currently working at Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) from their buildings.
The government warning comes in the wake of reports that that landlords and house owners are giving notices to tenants who are health workers, especially those assigned at ETUs, to leave their premises for fear that they will contaminate other tenants and their family members.
The Government’s warning was contained in a statement released recently through Deputy Information Minister, Isaac Jackson.
Min. Jackson noted that the government will not take kindly such act as it has the propensity to promote the spread of the virus. He called on landlords and house owners involved in this practice to desist immediately from kind of behavior.
He then announced that government would not hesitate to take strong action against any landlord caught in such an act “because it contravenes Chapter 13 and 14.6 of the Public Health Law of Liberia.”
According to Chapter 14.6 of the Public Health Law, an attempt on the part of any citizen to willfully promote the spread of a disease to the detriment of others, such person will be prosecuted, and when found guilty, will be sentenced for up to 30 days, and or subsequently pay a fine of US$200.