Latest From Around The Country: Four Persons Release from Quarantine in Grand Kru County, Covid-19 Misinformation Disrupts HIV/AIDS, TB Services at Clinic in Margibi County, COVID-19 Awareness Campaign Takes Center Stage in Bong and Maryland Counties, and In Gbarpolu County, Protesters Call for the immediate Removal for the County Health Officer
Grand Kru County: Four Discharge Fr om Covid-19 Quarantine
Barclayville – On August 5, the County Health Team discharged four persons, who were tested for COVID-19, from its Covid-19 treatment center in Behwan, Trehn Statutory District.
The four Liberians — three male and one female — were tested positive after they came in contact with a Chinese working for the Tietto Mineral, Liberia Limited. In July, the man had travelled along with his interpreter to Maryland County to seek medical care but was later tested positive for COVID-19.
Twenty two confirmed cases have been reported in the county since April 15, 2020 with all 22 now recovered — amongst them were 14 health workers.
Meanwhile, the head of the County Incident Management System Dr. Woyee have cautioned residents of the county to remain calm and observe all the Covid-19 health guidelines as they are working behind the scene with collective efforts from citizens to support the fight and kick Covid-19 out of the county.
Dr. Wreh maintained that the fight against Covid-19 needs the collective and collaborative efforts of all. He also called on citizens to report to any suspected case.
Margibi County: Heath Team Intensifies Routine HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis Supervision amid Covid-19
Cotton Tree — The focal person for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis Divisions of the County Health Team has intensified a “Supportive Routine Supervision” amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country. This is an exercise done quarterly by the health team to ascertain the level of interventions.
Dr. Joseph Saah, who is the focal person for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis divisions, said the supervision seeks to ascertain the situation of HIV/AIDS and TB in the county.
“As we fight the coronavirus disease in Liberia, we don’t want a situation where the existing viruses like HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis clients’ cases will be alluded to coronavirus; therefore, we have embarked on working in line with our clinicians to make sure anti-Tuberculosis treatment and ARVs are available at all health centers to avoid interference,” said Dr. Saah.
During the assessment, Dr. Saah visited the Du-Side Hospital, the Cotton Tree Health Center, and the medical center in Harbel.
Dr. Saah disclosed that there are nine health facilities in Margibi county where TB patients are being treated while more than 50 health centers are catering for HIV/AIDS patients in the county.
“When we get at the facilities, we look at supplies and all necessary items required to identify those gabs in order to replenish their supplies with immediate effect for the up- keep of our clients,” he said.
He called on those spreading rumors that people who go to the health center for regular treatment are compiled to do COVID-19 test and take the vaccine, to desist, adding that “COVID-19 vaccines and test are administered with the consent of people who are willing; you are not forced”.
Meanwhile, Madam Esther Lackay, the HIV/AIDS focal person at the Cotton Tree Health, has alarmed over the low turnout of clients for treatment and testing since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Madam Lackay also attributed the low turnout to misinformation spread about COVID-19 test and vaccines and refuted rumors that patients are not forced to be tested for COVID-19 while seeking medical services.
“This is false, we cannot force people to do test and take vaccine; our Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS treatment are free of charge,” she stressed. “Our facility is challenged, so we are appealing to stakeholders and any well-meaning individual to help us with equipment to do proper check up on our clients”.
Gbarpolu County: Protesters Call for Removal for County Health Officer
Bopolu City — Several people on Friday, August 6, protested in Bopolu City and gave a week’s ultimatum for the transfer of County Health Officer, Dr. Musa Zuannah from the county. The protesters also want the Community Health Department Director, Mr. Jusu Kpanah, to be removed from the County Health Team.
Amongst several allegations, they claimed that Dr. Ziannah has mismanaged funding intended for the fight against the COVID-19. They alleged that US$150,000 and US$50.000 for Gbarma health center projects, and the maternity waiting home in Gbaryamah town in Bopolu District were misdirected by Dr. Ziannah
“These and other reasons are enough for Dr. Zuannah the CHO, and his operative, Jusu Kpannah to go,” the protesters said in their petition.
Receiving their petition, Assistant Superintendent for Development, said: “Gone are those days when people cried, and nobody could give them ears or listen to them”.
Hon. Joseph Akoi added: “We have received your concerns and will be forwarded to the Health Minister, the officer of the Superintendent, and the Minister of State and onward to the President for timely redress.”
On Thursday, Dr. Zuannha denied all allegations. He, however, called for a dialogue but his call was not enough to avert the Friday protest.
Maryland County: Religious Community Setup COVID-19 Awareness
Harper — Religious leaders have joined the ongoing campaign against COVID-19, educating communities and churches about the need to observe health protocols prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
The religious leaders, who had been trained by Partners In Health and the Maryland County Health Team, visited various worship centers in Harper educating people about wearing nose masks, regularly washing hands, and the significance of getting vaccinated.
In July, PIH supported the County Health Team to conduct outreach activities by religious and youth leaders, as well as commercial motorbike riders. These activities were aimed at increasing awareness about COVID-19 including promoting infection prevention control measures.
According to Elizabeth Jackson, women president at the Evangelical St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, the move was aimed at buttressing the effort of the county health team.
“This virus thing is causing us serious setback; we are not having huge gathering again in the church because of Covid-19, so we thought it wise to change our massages this time around and join the campaign,” Madam Johnson said.
“To admit during our awareness, some of the churches love the idea and have started observing the teaching of the protocols”.
Some worshippers agreed that it is important to protect themselves, their families, and communities with a shared goal of stopping community transmission.
“I have also learned a lot myself; I never knew much about hand washing and the nose mask, and I wasn’t using that method but now I will do it,” said Felecia S. Toe, a resident of Essay Town Community who is also a member of the African Faith Church in Harper.
Bong County: Civil Society Organization Launches COVID-19 Awareness
Gbarnga — Members of the Bong County’s Civil Society have embarked on a massive COVID-19 prevention awareness campaign across the county, using megaphones in schools, churches, mosques, and the communities to adequately inform citizens about the virus.
Despite the drop in COVID-19 cases in the county, they said more awareness and enforcement of health protocols are the surest means of helping government further contain the coronavirus.
Mrs. Marline T. Jarwoe is head of the County’s Civil Society organizations. She said: “We will continue to create awareness that COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and a problem that no one should feel someone wants to make money from”.
Madame Jarwoe said even if government is unable to provide the needed support, citizens themselves should get involved with initiatives to continue fight against the disease.
Said Madame Jareoe, “As civil society actors we are going from public and private schools, from the churches to the mosques, from community to community with our awareness messages. So, we just want to encourage our people so that they too can take on such a venture because the government cannot be all over at the same time”.