I missed this report in Heritage when it appeared on July 25: Health Minister: Ebola’s fight beyond Health Ministry’s range.
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter T. Gwenegale, says the Ministry with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) has tried its best in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, but said the fight has now gone beyond the Ministry’s range.
Minister Gwenegale urged for a joint effort in the fight against the Ebola epidemic, which has claimed several lives.
Minister Gwenegale heavily attributed the spread of the virus due to fear by the public from being isolated from others for treatment and fear of being injected by nurses.
The Liberia’s health minister warned that hiding the disease and victims will cause it to spread more rapidly, and as such, Liberians should desist from this.
He was speaking Thursday, July 24, 2014 at the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) in Monrovia.
He was invited to outline measures that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare had put in place to fight the deadly Ebola virus.
“I have come to give an update on where we are to the fight against Ebola in our country. In March of this year, I came with the Country Representative of the World Health Organization to announce to Liberia that we have Ebola in our country. Reactions we got that time were mixed,” the health minister stated.
He pointed out that due to the action taken by WHO in Foya, the Ministry was able to control the first outbreak of the disease.
According to him, this lasted for almost one month without any new case reported.
Minister Gwenegale noted that the Ministry did not announce that Liberia was Ebola free because the virus was still in Guinea and subsequently to Sierra Leone, and as such, this could have still have an effect on the country as well.
Minister Gwenegale furthered that the disease resurfaced in Liberia after someone from Foya went to Sierra Leone for a burial and contacted the disease.
“The main reason I am here for is to say to all of you this disease is spreading. First, there is this issue of denial. There are people in our various communities who are saying that this disease is not here.
"Many are saying that Ministry is only scaring people to get more money or donor support. Another reason why this disease is spreading is that people are resisting to doing what we have ordered them to do in order to curtail the spread of the disease. This disease is also spreading due to internal migration,” the health minister added.