As the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) continue to manifest itself and gradually wiping out denial, it appears that more and more Liberians are now beginning to adhere to the simple preventive methods – washing hands regularly and avoiding contacts with body fluids.
However, though these measures which are now being practiced in a holistic manner by the majority seem not to be decreasing the rate of transmission of EVD in the country.
Counties that were recently affected now compete in death toll of epicenters of the epidemic. Last week for instance, 47 Ebola-related deaths were recorded in Margibi County. Eight of the deaths were health workers, including the supervisor of the Emergency Room at the C. H. Rennie Memorial Hospital in Kakata.
Grand Bassa County shares boundaries with Margibi County. It is one of the latest counties to be hit by EVD, but the disease appears to be a rolling stone in the county, ravaging the county so fast, leaving at least 40 persons dead since its outbreak in the county.
Liberia has surpassed Guinea in the death toll and this has been linked to high ignorance of the virus and the unwillingness to corporate with medical staff.
In as much as high level of ignorance and unwillingness to cooperate with medical officers may be attributed to the high death rates, it is also observed that aid and medical services are not adequately reaching the people in the counties.
With the soaring number of deaths in Grand Bassa County within a very short period of time, the county does not have an ambulance to speedily attend to Ebola-related cases. Reports gathered in Grand Bassa indicate that lack of ambulance has been one of the major causes of the high death toll. Relatives of dead Ebola victims are often left with no option but to bury the deceased by themselves. This put them at very high risk, as the Ebola virus has been scientifically proven to be more active on dead bodies and can easily be transmitted from a dead body.
There are also reports of some people being quarantined in their homes in Grand Bassa without any food supplies. Hunger is said to be increasing – another possible cause of deaths in the county.
Authorities in the county’s main alibi is that funds being donated to the government and funds being donated by the government is yet to reach the county.
The international community has donated loftily to the fight against EVD; the National Legislature has approved the use of US$20 million to the same cause among other donations made by the Liberian Government.
Authorities in Grand Bassa County believe the bureaucracies involved in getting money from the county’s consolidated account has been a major impediment to fighting the disease in the county.
There have been some concerns in some quarters that in these times of national health crisis, there is a need to make the system flexible by reducing the bureaucracies involved in attaining funds from the county development fund to help curb the epidemic.
Togar Alexander Bealded