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Around The Country: Updates From Five Counties

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: COVID-19 Makes Life More Unbearable for Lepers


The leprosy colony in Suakoko has over 400 residents, who have always complained about lack of support | Photo By: Emmanuel Mafelah


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to create hardships for Liberians, several lepers at the Suakoko Leprosy Rehabilitation Center in Suakoko District are calling for humanitarian assistance.

The center was constructed by former Liberian President William V.S Tubman in 1955 and it currently hosts more than 400 people including lepers and their families.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, residents of the leprosy camp were heavily challenged. Getting daily bread and accessing quality healthcare services were difficult for them.

Now, many of them are not only worried about contracting the COVID-19 but how will they be treated if they fall sick.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday July 22, the Center’s Administrator, Justin Togbah, said since the outbreak of the COVID-19, life has become “extremely difficult” for them as they struggle to get food and health care.

Residents, according to Mr. Togbah, are currently contracting other diseases such as diarrhea and cholera. The creek they use as a major source of drinking is contaminated, he said, adding that they have turned to the creek because the two hand pumps at the center have long been damaged.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, lepers at the center were receiving assistance from Kwatekeh Africa but there were little or no support from central government, Togbah said.

Togbah is again calling on philanthropic organizations, NGOs, and the government to come to their aid.

Moses Tormue, one of the residents of the center, said he is worried that if the cases of COVID-19 escalate, they will suffer more because there might be complete lack of support.


Bomi County: COVID-19 Denial Heightens

The growing wave of denial about COVID-19 among residents of Yomo Town in Bomi County appears to be impeding the work of the Task Force and health workers in the county.

Concerns heightened after a health worker assigned at the Yomo Town Clinic was tested positive for the virus and when health workers made attempts to carryout testing on those that came in contact with the infected person, they were seriously resisted by residents.

Mettie Roberts, a mental health clinician with the County Health Team, said, “The residents accused the health worker of accepting money to bring coronavirus in their town and for this reason they will not allow test to be conducted on any of them.”

Musu Gray, a resident of Yomo Town, explained that during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, there was no confirmed case recorded in the town, so it was impossible for the town to have a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Gray argued: “That thing that big lie; when they finished taking money then they say corona [COVID-19] is in our town and during Ebola, nobody catch [caught] Ebola in our town, so how come?”


Grand Gedeh County: Concerns Over Incomplete COVID-19 Facilities

Following the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the county, the County Health Officer has expressed concerns about the incomplete status of the treatment unit and the precautionary observation center in the county.

“As we speak the POC and TU are not ready but what we have decided is to use the agricultural building temporarily for any future COVID-19 case,” said Dr. Augustine Farneah told LVL.

He told LVL that while the main isolation and treatment unit is undergoing construction, the agriculture building, which is located outside central Zwedru, will be used as both quarantine and treatment centers for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

He said 14 high-risk persons have been tracked and are currently self-quarantining at their respective homes. He called on residents to continue adhering to the preventive measures.


Lofa County: Giving Tellewoyan Hospital Facelift


Over 20 persons were mobilized under the banner “Sons and Daughters of Lofa” to clean the vicinity of the health facility on Wednesday | Photo By: Arthur Kowah


The youth and some older folks of Voinjama have given the Tellewoyan Memorial Hospital a facelift after more than 20 persons were mobilized under the banner “Sons and Daughters of Lofa” to clean the vicinity of the health facility on Wednesday.

Recently, there have been concerns from the public that the hospital surrounding was filthy as grass was seen with covering the compound.

The hospital administration said due to the COVID-19 pandemic they were constrained to send some employees on compulsory leave, thereby making it difficult to keep the compound clear of grass.

But a group of locals volunteered to give the county’s major health facility a facelift. According to William Dorbor, the leader of the group, their intervention was a contribution to the development of the county.

Dorbor said instead of young people being “solely engaged with politics and criticisms of leaders”, they should be actively partaking in the development of the county.

He said that the untidy nature of compound of the facility would have pose risk to the safety of pateints and health workers, adding, “Just imagine, we kill several snakes here today while brushing the grass”.


Grand Kru County: Training Contact Tracers

One hundred community health assistants from across the five health districts in Grand Kru County have participated in a one-day contact tracing training. The training was held on July 22 at the Silver Keys Hotel in the Barclayville Health District.

Jimmy Lawubah, the County Surveillance Officer, said the training was supported by GIZ and implemented by Samaritan Purse and Grand Kru County Health Team.

Lawubah said the trained contact tracers will carry out active contact tracing in the county, noting that “We want them do follow up on those contacts that are now listed to ensure that the communities are safe.”

Speaking to LocalVoicesLiberia, one of the participants, Melvin Seah, appreciated the training, adding that he will use the knowledge acquired to help support the response effort against COVID-19 to keep his community safe.


 

 

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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