We find it URGENTLY NECESSARY to remind the Ministry of Health and the Executive Mansion to pay swift heed to the recently reported resurfacing of the deadly Lassa Fever in Nimba and Montserrado Counties.
The disease, the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL) recently reported, claimed the lives of three persons who came in contact with it, a clear indication that this disease is just as contagious as the deadly Ebola virus that claimed thousands of lives between 2014 and 2015.
Liberians can still recount the Ebola incident, as well as its harrowing consequences, and can never forget what happened to them.
Unlike Ebola, whose true source was unknown, Lassa Fever has been well documented and there are procedures already put in place to combat the disease effectively. One of these known facts is that Lassa Fever originates from infected rats carrying the Lassa Hemorrhagic fever.
Considering the source of this fever, it is about time that the new Health authorities in the Administration of President George Weah attach SERIOUSNESS and URGENCY to sanitation, as the current state of our environment leaves no doubt that the carriers of the disease are harbored in the stockpiles of garbage and filth found almost everywhere in Monrovia and other cities and towns across Liberia, many of which are overcrowded.
Commercial districts, including Red Light, the nation’s largest marketplace, Duala, Waterside and even central Monrovia, have stockpiles of garbage where the breeding of rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes and other parasites is rife (widespread).
This newspaper, the Daily Observer, has spent the past 12 years calling attention to the garbage menace that pervades the entire urban landscape. But the past government paid little or no attention to these filthy dumpsites, especially in the marketplaces where people buy, sell, cook and eat food amidst mountains and wide stretches of garbage. Here is the perfect environment for rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes and other parasites, who are waiting to carry any deadly diseases, including Lassa Fever, into our homes.
Now is the time for the Ministry of Health and its new Minister, along with other officials, to fervently engage its Environmental and Sanitation Division, in order to strategize the quickest and most effective methods of ridding our cities and towns of rodents bent on launching their deadly assaults on our hapless people.
We suggest that the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs should, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, organize a tour by the President of Liberia, George Weah, to visit the immediate environments of Soniwein, Paynesville, the Red Light Market, Waterside, Douala and wherever uncontrollable garbage dumps can be found and DO SOMETHING TO CLEAN THEM UP. This will prevent another catastrophic outbreak of deadly diseases on the Liberian landscape.
With the absence of proper mechanisms to combat the presence of stockpiles of garbage across the country, there is no doubt that this will pose serious health hazards, especially for our babies, children and mothers who must carry them to the markets to sell. No one will feel sorry for Liberia if we are again attacked by another deadly disease epidemic. We would have invited it upon ourselves by doing nothing about the filthy garbage that we love so much to keep around us.