Special Awards In Pictures

Editorial

FOR THE SECOND time, Liberia has crashed out of the record of beating back the Ebola Virus Disease, with the troubling re-emergence of the virus, just two months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the nation free of the virus following the second spell of the 42 days without new infection.

Comment

THE SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL Taskforce is still days away from its mandated commencement of official duties and it seems the league of angry public servants is already in its pinnacle. Stories of pain and grief follow the team—headed by the director of the General Service Agency (GSA), Mary Broh —wherever they go. They have a top mandate which they will relentlessly carry out even to the wailing of helpless women and children.

Comment

Attacking Ebola Aftershocks: Natural History Study Vital   THE EBOLA VIRUS Disease (EVD) may be over several months ago—thanks for the resilience of the Liberian people and international partners—but the one thing that remains so disturbingly ingrained is  the aftershock that is uncontestably ruining lives and setting survivors apart from achieving their dreams, besides the associated stigmatization.

b one year of terrifying grip on the nation, the virus sent some 4,800 people all ages and classes to their graves, while thousands others survived its scorching death venom. Thank God these Ebola survivors did not succumb, but there are other countless Ebola aftershocks they suffer on a daily basis—some social, medical and psychological.

GIVEN THE ENORMITY of these medical, social and psychological complications, Ebola Survivors suffer daily and Liberia’s lack of capacity to handle, those, the Ministry of Health under then Minister Walter Gwenigale sought the intervention of the United States  government through the Department of Health to partner in what has become known as Liberia-US Joint Clinical Research Partnership.

THIS PARTNERSHIP, ACCORDING to officials, will study Ebola and other infectious diseases in Liberia, and will also develop Liberian clinical research capacity.

HOWEVER, UNDER THE aegis of partnership which is also known as PREVAIL (Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia), a study under the appellation, Ebola Natural History is being conducted in Monrovia at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and Duport Road Medical Center and Kakata, Margibi County at the C.H. Dewey Hospital.

THE STUDY IS targeting 7,500 Liberians (1,500 Ebola survivors and 6,000 close contacts) targeted over a five-year period to learn about the range of health problems people have after recovering from the virus because there have been reports that survivors are going through serious health problems such as constant erection, joint pains, hearing and eye effects and many more. 

THE REASON WHY we think this health exercise is significantly worthy is the fact that “a health nation means a healthy people,” meaning that Liberia cannot boast of nationhood when its people continue to scourge under different health conditions, not necessarily the ones Ebola has caused. 

WE ARE AWARE that before Ebola there were many different disconcerting diseases to which Liberia has no answers, owing to the lack of capacities in the health sector. So, there should be not any relenting by Liberian authorities to give backing to programs and activities – whether pushed by Liberians or foreign partners- that seek to address some of these troubling health complications.

LEAST WE IGNORE the reality that the plague of the EVD has, to some extent, exacerbated these health conditions evidenced by the unfortunate health conditions survivors are going through. On the basis of this reality, we think all Liberians, whether in the public and private sectors, whether employed and unemployed, are obligated to commit themselves to working with institutions spearheading the Study for its success. The simple fact is that when the unknown of the disease are revealed by the Study and survivors subsequently freed of their condition as a result of the Study, then Liberia is equally safe of another social and economic trouble.

THOSE IN PREVAIL and their partners such as the Liberia Crusaders for Peace are crisscrossing the country, especially Ebola hot zones in Montserrado, Margib, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties, encouraging survivors to show up for the Study. But it is tremendously important to encourage all Liberians, relatives and no-relatives of survivors, to buttress the sacrifices of these institutions. Let’s remember diseases can come and go only when safeguards are put in place to avert resurgences, and the ongoing Study is a good guidepost to completely stamp m EVD out of Liberia and its aftershocks out of the systems of our brothers and sisters who survived it.

BEFORE IT GETS too late, all Liberians can harness their energies, as they did during the outbreak, work with those overseeing the Study to keep the nation safe and the lives of our comrades because it better to build your house on the rock than in the sand.”  This is why we think the Ebola Natural History Study is so vital to undoing the aftershocks of the EVD and other potential health problems because it considers all other conditions.

Comment

THERE IS NOTHING so astounding and mind-boggling in Liberia now a day than the circadian violation of the law in totality by citizens of all classes, though so heavily crowned by officials of government, most particularly members of the National Legislature, the first branch of government responsible to make laws.

Comment

LAST WEEK’S SACKING of several officials of government by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf must have been expected, given that it lies within her constitutional purview to hire and dismiss, but it came a bit astonishingly because it happened barely a day after she (President) returned home from the United States for the 70th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and amid other developments.

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