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Around The Country: Updates From Six Counties – July 22, 2020

Stay informed with happenings in your county, follow LocalVoicesLiberia every week day for the latest update on COVID-19 and other important developments.

 

Bong County: Caterpillar Worms Invade Farms


The caterpillars worms  have attacked crops and residents are now worried that there might be food shortage in the coming months


Caterpillar worms have invaded farms in Zota and Jorquelleh Districts in the county, causing farmers to abandon their farms and crops.

Residents of Wolokpolu Clan in Zota District and Gbarney Town in Jorpolu clan are currently unable to continue their farming activities because of the caterpillar invasion.

Over 1,500 inhabitants of the Wolokpolu clan have long been involved in cultivating crops like rice, cassava, corn, and eddoes. Farming is a major source of income for people in these communities.

“Residents are now worried that there might be food shortage in the coming months, if nothing urgent is done to assist farmers get raid of the caterpillars that are destroying their crops,” said Josiah Flomo, a resident of Zota.

James Halawaga, town chief of Gbarney Town which is along the Gbarnga-Lofa Highway, added that the caterpillar invasion began about a week ago, thus preventing people from going on their various farms.

The situation might worsen as the caterpillars are taking over crops and drinking water in the town and surrounding areas, he told reporters; adding that farmers are finding it extremely difficult in reaching to their gardens.

Mr. Halawaga added, “The caterpillars can block the farm roads, then we can be jumping in the coco bushes to go on our farmers; even on the various farms they are there”.

The farmers are appealing to the Government through the County Health Team (CHT) and the Ministry of Agriculture to help bring the situation under control by using insecticides to get rid of the caterpillar worms.


Grand Gedeh County: Mainstreaming Women in Security 


The meeting highlighted the importance of women participation in  the county security mechanism | Photo By: Ben T.C. Brooks


The United Nations Development Program, UNDP, has concluded a two-day security mechanism meeting with stakeholders of the county.

The meeting brought together members of various security apparatus, local county authorities, youth, elders, chiefs, and women groups.

Speaking at the closed of the session, John S. Morris, UNDP field coordinator for River Gee and Grand Gedeh Cunties, said the gathering was intended to strengthen the County’s Security Council amid the health crisis, which is attracting enormous attention.

Morris called for the inclusion of women in the county’s security pillar, which according to him, will enable the police and the joint security to timely react to information or tip-off from the community.

Morris said that as part of their new mandate, women must be included in discussions about security matters in every county, stressing that women of Grand Gedeh County must be proactive.


 Lofa County: Seven New Cases 


The new COVID-19 data released by the county’s Incident Management System shows that seven new cases have been recorded | Photo By: Arthur Kowah


Lofa County Health Team has released new data on COVID-19 cases in the county, which shows that the county has a cumulative case of 75 with seven new confirmed cases.

At the regular Incident Management System meeting held Tuesday, July 21, the County Health Team disclosed that there were seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 40. The case distribution across the county are: seven confirmed cases in Voinjama, 24 in Foya, eight in Zorzor and one in Kolahun.

Out of the 40 total confirmed cases, 15 are health workers (Voinjama – two cases: Foya – 10 cases, and Zorzor – three cases).  The IMS said 13 of the patients are currently being isolated in the treatment unit while 15 have recovered and have been discharged.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths stands at 9. Cumulative suspected cases stand at 75.


Grand Bassa Couunty: Gov’t Hospital Assures Public of Drug Stock


The Liberian Government hospital in Buchanan has struggled to keep stock of essential drugs before the COVID-19 outbreak | Photo By: Elton Wrionbee Tiah


The Director of Pharmacy s at the Liberian Government Hospital in Buchanan has disclosed that the hospital has a huge stockpile of drugs, allaying fears of residents about the shortage of drugs at the major public referral health facility in the city.

Dyujay Cleton made the disclosure on Tuesday, July 21, at a press conference in Buchanan.

According to Mr. Cleton, the drugs at the hospital can last up to three months before request will be made to the National government for supplies.

Mr. Cleton told journalists that the availability of the current supplies is based upon the cordial working relationship among the county leadership, citizens, and the hospital. It is making the hospital overcome some of the major challenges at the hospital.

He said there are stocks of malaria antigen, sulfadoxine, artemether, and lumefantrine among others. He urged people of the county to seek medical treatment at the hospital.


Gbarpolu County: Donations to School, Radio Station


Bopolu Central High School and the county’s radio station were presented rice and a drum of fuel respectively | Photo By: Henry Gboluma, Jr.


Gbarpolu County Health Team has received a donation from the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL), which includes 50 bags of 25 Kg and assorted Infection Prevention Control (IPC) materials.

The LCL Bishop Assistant, Rev. Peter C. Logan said the rice was intended for people in quarantine and isolation as well as health workers.

In another donation news, a former student of the Bopolu Central High School has donated 25 bags of rice and one drum of fuel to the county health team.

Patrick Korlubah also provided 12 bags of rice and one drum of fuel for his Alma Mata and the Voice of Gbarpolu radio station, respectively.

“My Brother graduated from Bopolu Central High. He is now America, and through his support, we bought rice and fuel as his own support given back to society during this health crisis, ” Korlubah said.

Receiving the items, Superintendent J. Keyah Saah thanked Mr. Korlubah family and the Lutheran Church, adding, “These gifts are timely for our two institutions that are active during this pandemic.”


Maryland County: Delayed Results Sparks Fear of COVID-19 Surge 

Several persons have expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in the release of COVID-19 test results in the county.

The delay, according to many people who spoke to reporters in the county, might increase the number of confirmed cases in the county. When a specimen is collected in the county, it stays up to two days in the county before being transferred to Monrovia for testing at the National Reference Lab.

Those suspected of COVID-19 are mostly asked to self-quarantine until their results come back to the county. Only people, who are tested positive, are isolated. With this, many people say positive patients may most likely spread the virus among family members or friends while under self-quarantine.

Residents are calling on the government to setup a testing center in the county to limit the amount of time results are disclosed.

James Hanson, a youth activist in the county, claims that many persons who get affected with the virus in the county is because they interacted with high-risk or suspected patient(s) that was released prior to their test results.

Expressing her view on the situation, Prescillia Jayfin sais one of her relatives contracted the virus from an individual who had tested positive for COVID-19 but did not received his result on time. The patient was asked to stayed home while he awaited his result. Jayfin said while the result was not released, her friend got impatience and interacted with several others who were later tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, reacting to residents’s concerns on a community radio station in Harper, County Health Officer, Dr. Methodus George said test results of suspected or high-risk persons are delayed due to the lack of testing facility in the county.


 

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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