Rep. Saah Joseph: A True Ebola Hero

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Sometimes when his driver was absent, he himself got behind the steering of the ambulance, provided personally by him, and drove Ebola patients or suspected ones to the Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs). 

Many times this compassionate and fearless Liberian, despite his high status as a popular Legislator from Montserrado County, drove even Ebola dead bodies to the cemetery or crematorium.  

Who ever heard of a Legislator reaching out so selflessly to his people, in a deliberate and determined effort to relieve them from the viral suffering and drive the deadly Ebola menace out of Liberia?  But here he is, Representative Saah Joseph whom nobody asked, but who with his own resources reached out to suffering humanity, beginning in his own neighborhood, New Georgia Estate near Monrovia.

Now that, thanks to his efforts, to the gallant initiatives of many health workers who died in the fight, to those who survived, to the Liberian government, international partners and, of course, to  Almighty God, Liberia has turned the corner leaving Ebola far behind and on its way out of Liberia.  At last count in the past week there were only 10 confirmed cases in the entire country, who are being successfully treated in ETUs, most of which are now totally empty! We praise God for that.

With this good news, this indefatigable and relentless Ebola fighter, Saah Joseph, has now turned his attention to neighboring Sierra Leone.  He has gone there with several ambulances and other equipment, partly provided by himself and by the Liberian government, too, to help fight Ebola in that country which is now the current epi-center of the virus.

Is there any wonder, then, that Saah Joseph’s heroic efforts have been recognized by three leading Liberian officials—House Speaker Alex Tyler, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and the President herself, Ellen Johnson Sireaf?  

Montserrado Representative Saah Joseph last week received from these top Liberian officials the well   deserved title of “Ebola Hero.”

Speaking at the official opening of the fourth session of the 53rd Legislature, House Speaker Alex Tyler called Saah Joseph an “Ebola hero.”  Our country, said the Speaker, has “truly been tested by fire, by war and now by this pestilence of biblical proportions.”  That the Ebola virus it is now leaving Liberia is due partly to the relentless efforts of this patriotic Montserrado Representative, the Speaker declared.

The next top official to honor Saah Joseph was Vice President Boakai, who extolled the selfless services of Rep. Joseph, describing them as “remarkable and highly appreciable.”

The availability of five ambulances, owned and supported by the Montserrado lawmaker, the VP declared, “contributed immeasurably to the huge success that has led to the very low infection rate.”

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the news of Liberia’s deployment in Sierra Leone was “wonderfully good news that must be celebrated.”  Saah Joseph, she added, was one of “the first responders on the Ebola frontline.”

“You were one of the first on the Ebola frontline and faced the virus when a lot of people did not know the disease well and were afraid and confused,” she told the patriotic and fearless lawmaker.

“You and your team braved the storm when when doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers as well as our citizens were dying in their numbers. 

“You are a true hero of our country,” President Sirleaf declared.

Before his departure for Sierra Leone, Rep. Joseph told journalists that while there he and his team, known as First Responders Emergency Medical Services, will basically facilitate the timely transport of sick persons to testing and treatment facilities.

The accolades of the Speaker, VP and the  President Sirleaf were not the only responses from Liberian the government.  Saah told journalists that the GOL had purchased four ambulances, including an air ambulance, to support the fight against the deadly virus. 

The air ambulance, he said, will be used to airlift pregnant women to health centers for safe delivery.

The Daily Observer joins the government and the entire nation in their praises upon this truly patriotic Liberian, and hope that others will emulate his patriotism, selflessness and bravery in putting himself in harm’s way to help suffering humanity, both in Liberia and across the border in Sierra Leone.      

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