Written By: Ben B. Togbah, Jr., Margibi County
Following the death of a 17 year-old boy and the announcement of two confirmed cases in the country by the government, several local officials in Margibi County remain optimistic that the virus can be contained.
Speaking to Local Voices Liberia at the Unification Health Center in Margibi County, the Information Officer at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Margibi, Fester Tarpah, said health institutions and partners are coordinating to ensure that they promptly contain the Ebola virus in the county.
The two confirmed cases have been transported from Nedowein community, Margibi County to the Ebola Treatment Unit at ELWA hHospital in Paynesville. This makes the total of three confirmed cases in Liberia.
Tarpah said the Unification Health Center in the county is temporarily closed while 14 out of 18 health workers at the Unification Health Center are being observed. The 14 health workers are not permitted to go home while undergoing the medical observation.
For his part, the Margibi County Mandingo Governor Mr. Amara Fofana has underscored the need for all Margibians (people of Margibi), irrespective of tribal background to collectively work along with government and partners in battling the recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the county.
Mr. Fofana said the return of the virus in the country especially in Margibi is a strange and unexpected situation that required prompt and collective fight. He called on his kinsmen and all residents to coordinate in defeating the killer virus.
The Margibi County Mandingo tribal leader said the reappearance of the virus in the country is not only an embarrassment to the state but also undermines national development as well as scares potential investors to the country.
Mr. Fofana called on state-actors to do away with what he termed as petite jealousy or politics and see the Ebola resurgence as a national health crisis and leaders must respond appropriately.
Meanwhile, Statutory Superintendent Marcus Speare is encouraging residents of Margibi to remain committed to all Ebola preventive measures instituted by government and do away with fear.
He said the county administration is coordinating with health agencies including international partners to ensure the current outbreak is curbed.
In total, 237 contacts of the victims have been listed by the Ebola Task Force of Montserrado District four. According to Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah, there is no reason for panic as ‘the outbreak has been contained locally in the Nedowein community in Mama-Gaba district in Margibi County’.
The United States’ Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ministry of Health are investigating various possibilities regarding how the 17 year old boy got sick with the Ebola virus
Five households are considered ‘high risk’ by the Ministry of Health and the community is under precautionary observation. However, how the boy contracted the Ebola virus still remains unclear.
In Bong County, the County Health has confirmed to reporters that there’s no positive case of Ebola in the County. On Wednesday the news of a confirmed case at the Phebe Hospital spread like a wide fire thereby causing serious fear among citizens. But Bong County Health Officer,Dr. Sampson Arzoaquoi said though there were two suspected cases both at the Bong Mine outpatient department and the Phebe Hospital but all have been tested and proven negative.
Many ordinary Liberians are expressing frustration over the recent outbreak and want government and partners support in order to contain the virus.