The doxology says “Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow . . .” Indeed, He deserves the praise for His deliverance of our nation and people from what was predicted to be a far worse disaster than we experienced, we Liberians and the people of our two other hardest hit neighbors, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
We are grateful that the hundreds of thousands of deaths predicted by no less an authority than the World Health Organization (WHO) did not happen.
A determined and heroic President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who led the battle against the deadly virus, is to be applauded and thanked for her successful appeal to the world that galvanized the international community including world leaders, to put forth a formidable arsenal of human and material resources to combat and contain the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus in history. We believe that she was supernaturally imbued with the courage and faith to refuse to accept the WHO’s dooms day prediction that we would perish from the virus. Instead, Ellen galvanized our people to forsake age old traditions and adopt new habits that resulted in stamping out and containing the raging virus.
Thank God for empowering also the healthcare workers, including those who paid the supreme sacrifice. They overcame their initial fear and regrouped to ensure that more of us survived than succumbed to the deadly foe.
We praise God, too, for raising up international partners—the United Nations and its many Agencies, including UNMEER, the United States, People’s Republic of China, European Union, the German, Norwegian and Nigerian governments, the Fula and Indian communities in Liberia.
Other partners include the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank, Economic Community of West African States, African Union, World Health Organization, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), Samaritan’s Purse (SP), Save the Children, the local banks, including the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), United Bank of Africa (UBA), Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), Ecobank and Direct Relief, among others.
Immense commendation is due also to the Liberian people, reputed to be among the most resilient in the world. Thanks to the local and international health teams and their clear and persistent messages, the people slowly but surely started listening and acting—washing hands, avoiding touching, abandoning the age-old Liberian handshake and overcrowding. Stern warnings against touching the dead and the deadly consequences of failing to report sick loved ones persisted, the people obeyed and slowly but surely the virus started receding.
Foya, the first area hit from across the Guinea border in Lofa County, which later became an epi-center of the disease, soon started showing signs of a significant slow-down. Then Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Grand Cape Mount counties erupted, but they, too, were soon brought under control.
Meanwhile, the International community, even though belatedly, mounted a robust response, led by the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and U.S. President Barrack Obama and his over 3000 troops. The troops, in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), built Ebola treatment units (ETUs) in all 15 counties. The Chinese built one at the S.K.D. Sports Complex from which the only remaining case left in the country was discharged a week ago. Others were established by SP, MSF and the Liberian Government.
Many local organizations, including the Liberian Council of Churches and mosques which offered prayers, and scores of Liberian NGOs helped not only with relief supplies, but also effective awareness campaigns.
These were all a stellar demonstration of the power of unity of purpose and resources as a counter attack against any threat to humanity.
Above all, we give thanks to Almighty God, who answered the many prayers and blessed and empowered all who joined in the gallant fight to drive Ebola from our country.
We know that this same Triune God will continue to bless and prosper the efforts of the yet embattled people of Guinea and Sierra Leone, as they, too, struggle to defeat the virus and drive it completely out of the Mano River basin and the African continent.
As President Sirleaf told the world during her recent visit abroad, Liberia is not free until Guinea and Sierra Leone are free. So we all have to keep working, observing all the rules and praying until Ebola is completely and decisively driven out of the MRU basin and is made powerless to inflict such devastation anywhere else in the world.