As no new Ebola case recorded since April 18, official statement from the Liberia Ministry of Health says if Liberia does not record new cases in 21 days, the country could be on track to be eventually declared Ebola Free State. Making additional assuring statement to African Voices, the Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services and Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Liberia; Tolbert Nyenswah also said that “Out of the 61 Ebola suspected listed cases, 59 have completed the 21-day follow-up with negative results”
The Deputy Chief Medical further said the results of the follow-up on those cases are encouraging and that health authorities are still carrying out follow-up on the remaining cases. The Liberia health Ministry has attributed success scored so far in the fight against Ebola Virus to the swift intervention of government and other partners, as well as community people.
Further official statements from the Health Ministry have commended Liberians for cautiously adhering to the preventive measures stipulated. More awareness programs have been designed and ongoing in the communities especially the Ebola prone locations. As it stands now, with the continuity in the preventive measures and practices carried out by the citizens, it will reach the point where Liberia will be declared Ebola free, says the Chief Medical Officer.
Ebola Virus and its occurrence in Liberia has been a mixture of different feelings, some believed is here, while others seem to doubt whether it does exist, but as deaths began to sweep across the affected areas, the new strain of Ebola in West Africa was proven to exist. As West African sub-region was waking up with smack of the epidemic. the European Commission announced a 300,000 Euro support to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [IFRC] to help Guinea Red Cross prevent the Ebola virus from further spreading, the Canadian government also contributed over US$1.2 million to help fight the virus in West Africa, different member states introduced measures to prevent and curtail the spread of the disease, Senegal and Ivory coast closed their borders with Guinea, Gambia ban flights coming from the affected countries, the ivory coast banned the sale of “Bush” meat, which is considered as the vector of Ebola. Liberia health ministry disseminated information on Ebola and banned hand shaking [traditional style of greeting] as a preventive method.
The blood samples from infected patients, according to researchers determined that while the Guinean form of the Ebola virus showed a 97% similarity to the Zaire strain, the disease was not introduced from Central Africa. The study demonstrates the emergence of a new Ebola virus strain in West Africa’s Guinea. However it is possible that the virus has circulated undetected in the West African region for some time; its emergence in Guinea highlights the risk of Ebola-Virus outbreak in the whole of West Africa.
Jacob Eagan Bright
African Voices, Monrovia, Liberia