The World Health Organization (WHO), within days after we received the alarming news of a renewed Ebola outbreak in Guinea, issued an announcement downgrading an “Ebola health risk” in the three affected countries in the Mano River basin—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
This announcement came as the editors of this newspaper, Daily Observer, had just completed an Editorial urging Liberia’s Health Ministry (MOH) to be on a vital “high alert” at the Liberia-Guinea and other borders. The editors had to adjust the editorial to reflect the WHO announcement, while yet stressing the need for the MOH to deploy an emergency team and preventive health and medical supplies. These included Clorox-supplied buckets and thermometers to Liberia’s borders with Guinea, to ensure that everyone crossing is checked, with hand washing, temperature taking and other procedures strictly enforced.
A day or two later the Guinea government announced that the persons who had died had been affected not by Ebola, but by having drunk lizard-poisoned water. Shortly following that new announcement by Guinea, both sides of the border were opened. Our Nimba correspondent Ishmael Menkor, in his dispatch reporting the border reopening, noted with alarm that people were crossing the border at will, with no hand washing or temperature taking being observed. That was the reason for our Thursday Editorial, “MOH High Alert Vital at Liberia-Guinea Borders.”
We know of no investigation by WHO of Guinea’s original announcement last week of a renewed Ebola outbreak in their country. All we know is that following that country’s reversal later that same week, that no, it was not Ebola, but lizard poisoning that killed the three people. Yet WHO, without any investigation that we know of, declared the three worst affected countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—“downgraded Ebola health risks.” That statement by WHO baffled many people, especially in Liberia, who wondered how the Organization, without first investigating the situation in Guinea, was able to come up with such a sweeping announcement clearing the three countries of Ebola.
Is it not very surprising then, that two days following the WHO clearance of the three countries, Liberia reported that a 30-year-old woman died of Ebola later that same week, and that her immediate community in Jacob Town, Paynesville had been quarantined?
A senior medical practitioner, in the business for well over 40 years, told the Daily Observer last week he strongly believed that the three countries are in this Ebola affliction for the long haul. He listed three primary reasons: first, because big money is involved—in the billions of United States dollars; second, all these vaccine trials, being undertaken by Western nations, including the USA (Centers for Disease Control—CDC); France and Germany; and thirdly, the WHO itself knows about all this and is very much part of the scheme.
That, said this medical doctor, is the main reason it took WHO so long to respond to the first Ebola outbreak in the Mano River basin two years ago. So it became evident that WHO’s delay was not simply a matter of ineptitude (incompetence). The delayed reaction may have been deliberate—let the Ebola sting hit so hard that the money to be made proceeds and the stage set for the urgency of the vaccine trials.
We hope and pray that this is not the case. We hope, too, that the conspiracy theories, published by several scientists, notably Dr. Cyril Broderick, a plant pathologist, are not true—that certain nations, notably the USA and its Pentagon or defense establishment—are NOT developing this deadly virus as a weapon of war.
Surely these three worst affected countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—are definitely NOT at war with the USA and can never be! So it is entirely implausible (unlikely, farfetched) that such a scenario would be at play.
It is also our prayer that WHO and all others concerned will take this Editorial seriously and do whatever they can to keep this deadly Ebola menace far from the Mano River basis—or anywhere else—because it is not good for any country. The consequences are too ghastly (horrifying, terrible) to contemplate.