The Country Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has lauded the people of Bomi County for the level of progress made in combating the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).
Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen said he was pleased that the county level support provided by the UNDP to Bomi and other counties has immensely helped in the EVD response in the country.
“We are here to monitor the progress that we are making with the support that the UNDP has been providing to Bomi County at the local level in response to the EVD,” Dr. Kamaluddeen said in Tubmanburg, Bomi County recently during a fact finding visit.
He said the UN specialized Agency — UNDP — has provided support, based on the request from the county leadership. “We are happy that UNDP support has helped in creating the necessary awareness that is being traced to the progress that Bomi has made.”
He further stated that the progress seen in the county was as a result of the collective work of the community, the government through the local authorities and development partners, both local and international.
The UNDP-Liberia boss indicated that UNDP would remain supportive of the government’s national Ebola response and other programs.
“We were here supporting the national response and we’ll still be here. Already, we are working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the government as a whole to support the new momentum that has been given to the decentralization process,” he disclosed.
UNDP has supported the county leadership in the areas of training for county health teams and logistics to boost contact tracing, social mobilization and sensitization in remote and inaccessible districts and communities in the county.
During the field mission, the UNDP Country Director and team visited Bomi Hospital and the Ebola Treatment Unit in Tubmanburg.
According to Dr. Nisar Ulkhak, the Medical Director at the ETU, when Dr. Kamaluddeen and other visited, there was no EVD patient and the last suspected patient had left the ETU two days earlier after being tested negative.
Dr. Ulkhak said since the facility was opened, a total of 63 cases were admitted at the unit. He said at the peak of the Ebola epidemic, the ETU had over 100 patients, 20 of whom were confirmed positive, 9 survived and eleven died.
“We are happy with what we have seen and what we’ve been told by the Superintendent. I was happy visiting the ETU to know that there are no patients there at the moment and the last case they had was not an EVD confirmed case,” Dr. Kamaluddeen said.
The 50-bed ETU was jointly built by engineers of the US Marine and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). It served the entire western region of Liberia, including Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties.
The Unit commenced operations on November 28, 2014 under the management of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Before the center opened, there were about 200 suspected and/or confirmed Ebola cases in Bomi. Many of them reportedly died while awaiting treatment.
By the time the center was opened, the country was down to fewer than 100 cases per week, from a peak of more than 300. By December, the number had dropped to fewer than 30 cases per week.
Bomi was one of the most affected counties during the peak of the epidemic recording high infections. Today, it symbolizes the declined trends in the EVD transmission.
Meanwhile, the UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark is expected to officially visit the three countries most affected by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 11-18 February. The visit is to affirm the UN’s continued commitment to addressing the ongoing crisis, and support for the recovery process.
During her visit in Liberia which runs from 13-16 February the UNDP Administrator will hold discussions with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the UN Family, the Ebola Incident Management System and the donor community.
Ms. Clark is expected to participate in a signing ceremony of a Social Safety Net Cash Transfer Program between UNDP and the Government of Liberia through the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Internal Affairs, scheduled to take place in Bomi County.