As part of efforts to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus (EVD) in the country, the government has called on leaders of communities near the Liberia’s borders with neighboring countries to help protect us.
At the Ministry of Information regular Tuesday press briefing in Monrovia, Dr. Bernice Dahn, the new Minister of Health, noted that people will continue to cross borders to go to markets, visit family members as well as get healthcare, but community leaders are obliged to report any suspected case or anyone suspected of carrying the virus.
“The structures we have in place to strengthen our surveillance system allowed us to respond quickly. It is critical that Liberians remain vigilant and continue all preventive measures to stop the spread of the Ebola virus,” she urged.
She assured the public that the county health teams and border officials will continue to screen cross-border travelers.
Minister Dahn said any traveler showing Ebola symptoms will be immediately isolated and referred to a health facility for further observation and treatment.
“Community leaders are aware of border procedures and know when to alert health teams, because all of us will want to remain vigilant by monitoring visitors in communities along our borders to avoid any eventuality relative to the virus.”
She then charged community dwellers to report any suspected case(s) of sickness, especially from a visitor, to ensure that quick measures are put into place.
According to the Health Minister, the 17-year boy, who passed away on Saturday, June 27 in lower Margibi County was safely buried by the Ebola burial team because he presented symptoms of the virus.
She said the Incident Management System (IMS) has galvanized a team to conduct a detail investigation in the entire area.
Although this was not a situation that was anticipated, yet it indicates that the alert systems are working in tracking down Ebola- related cases throughout the country, she said.
She disclosed that IMS is working with partners to coordinate with the Margibi County Health Team for contact tracing, psychosocial support, community engagement and reactivation of the Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in Margibi to ensure that those who came into contact with the victim receive basic food and other services.
Minister Dahn said they will not recommend the closure of the Liberian border at this time, but will continue surveillance at all entry points—be they land and air.
The fight against the Ebola was not over, she declared, warning that Liberians should not lose hope; rather continue to practice appropriate behavior to control the epidemic.