About 13 suspected Ebola patients were on Saturday, September 20, 2014 seen at the entrance of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center Ebola and Cholera Unit crawling on the ground complaining of alleged neglect by caretakers and nurses assigned there.
The 13 patients according to them in a distant interview were brought from the Gardnersville area during the morning hours to the Ebola treatment unit.
They said in low and quivering tones that they were brought on an ambulance, but caretakers and nurses at the center halted them from entering on ground that the place was occupied by a huge number of patients and therefore they should wait outdoor until the number reduces.
“While we were waiting, a jeep bearing RL plate came with a patient in it. Without stopping the car from entering, they hastily opened the door and it entered with the patient. As we were trying to enter, they came and started hitting the door and they put all of us outside. Since we came this morning, we continue to be here as if we are not the same Liberians,” a depressed man explained in weeping a tone.
The suspected patients observed that preference given the patient on the RL jeep was because the person is related to an official of government and so they were caring for him more than they should for them, stressing that until one be a part of the highest social class in the country he/she cannot be treated with dignity despite taxes the person pays to the government.
A relative of one of the patients, Wallace Dweh of Doe Community stressed in an agitated tone that ambulance brought the suspected patients during the morning hours and because of the delay in getting them in, three died in the ambulance.
“This is very bad in this country, my brother. We came since this morning and as you can see the time now, it is after 4p.m. The people placed the patients on waiting list and have since been waiting, but as soon as a jeep bearing RL plate arrived with a patient, they quickly opened the door and the car entered. Why should they treat some Liberians bad as though they are not part of the country? I believe they paid money to them to attend to the patient brought, but we will stand here and embarrass them to get the patients in. That’s very bad in this country,” Dweh said.
Caretakers and nurses at the center could not be reached as they were locked in and the suspected patients sitting right at the entrance. However, information that sprang out through conversation with a lady among the group outside was that the area was occupied and the nurses were releasing about 14 persons to come out before those at the entrance could go in.
Meanwhile, the fight to eradicate Ebola in Liberia is an unprepared one with several challenges.
Up to present Government lacks enough ambulances to transport suspected patients as the disease has almost spread across the country.
The “Treatment centers” are unprepared that patients have no bed to lie on but the flat ground using their own pieces of clothes. A hot telephone line is being created to call the response team to pick up a sick patient or dead bodies, but it has overly been complained that the team delays in reaching scenes of calls which results into death of many and contracting of the disease by others.
Furthermore, the so-called treatment centers are not spaced enough to accommodate many people as cases grow daily.
In many instances suspected, probable and confirmed patients are quarantined with corpses in the same house, and the response team delays in burying the corpses.
For instance a case of one Roseline who died with 26 of her families and relatives in Ganta, Nimba County is told that corpses stayed in house where some of the families were quarantined.
Now that the US Government is coming in with a huge troop of experts and supplies to combat the disease, it gives some hope to desperate Liberians as the government has admitted its failure and exacerbating condition of health crisis in the country.