Liberia’s Two Edge-Sword: The Ebola Virus that Kills the Ebola Patient While Turning Away Other Patients for Fear of the Ebola Virus

Patricia Jabbeh WesleyThe Liberian Government Must Create an Adequate Center to Fight Ebola, Declare a State of Emergency, Adequately Educate the Citizenry and Medical Practitioners on The Deadly Virus, and Stop Medical Care Givers in the Nation’s Hospitals from Turning Away Desperate Patients Inflicted by the Virus or Other Illnesses.

Liberian-flag-gimp-crop

 

 

 

The Ebola Virus that is overtaking Liberia today is a two edge sword, and until the Liberian President, Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf slows down and directs her undivided attention and enough resources to this deadly epidemic, it may overwhelm her and the already desperate and poverty stricken Liberian people. Every Liberian everywhere should pay close attention now, and call on the government to do all it can to stop this epidemic from spreading; every Liberian everywhere should pay close attention now. When Dr. Samuel Brisbane,the Chief Medical Officer of the largest medical hospital in Liberia, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia,¬† can be killed by Ebola, it says a lot about the country and its leadership. Why is this virus killing so many of the caregivers, very important medical practitioners as well as the ordinary people? When is the government going to designate a special center for the care of our desperate Liberian people who are inflicted by the disease? Why isn’t there a major center yet, a center, controlled by the Liberian Health Ministry where patients suspected of the disease can be taken?

ebola_2987628bimages

Small, Unprepared Hospitals Struggle to Handle A National Epidemic: Why? Are Nearly 200 People Dead Not Enough Yet?

images3images2The Ebola Virus, which is now recorded as the worst case ever, and has already killed more than a thousand in the West African region; it began in Guinea in February of this year, and moved on to the capital of Conakry, the capital of Guinea. The virus continued to spread to other countries like Sierra Leone, and by April, it reached Liberia through the Loffa County (northern Liberia) bordering towns with Guinea. The virus would have been contained had the government acted quickly, but soon, the virus reached Monrovia, and has now spread to other counties. But is Monrovia or Liberia, for that matter, the sort of place such a virus can be stopped easily? No. The Ebola virus in a place like Monrovia, a city overwhelmed by most of the nation’s population since the end of the war, is not a place where such a virus can be stopped unless the government with the help of the international community, devotes all its efforts to stopping this deadly disease. It may be too late soon, Liberians.

622x350“In this 2014 photo provided by the Samaritan’s Purse aid organization, Dr. Kent Bentlyly, left, treats an Ebola patient at the Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia. On Saturday, July 26, 2014, the North Carolina-based aid organization said Brantly tested positive for the disease and was being treated at a hospital in Monrovia.” __FOX News

Dr. Kent Bently, a US Fort Worth doctor, working with a humanitarian organization in Liberia is now infected with the virus. Dr. Samuel Brisbane, JFK Memorial’s Chief Medical Officer and numerous other nurses, caregivers, hospital workers, and others who are the first contacts with Ebola patients might have perished.¬† We do not need more people to die before there is a serious call to action, a serious statement calling on everyone to quit running from patients or hiding patients infected by the disease. There needs to be more to end this epidemic.

THE TWO EDGE SWORD DILEMMA: What is it?

The Liberian population which now mostly live in Monrovia due to the difficult economic problems, the lack of roads to interior counties, the lack of schools, hospitals, supply of goods or even an adequate means of transportation from the interior counties to the capital city are caught in this new web of a strange disease and ignorance of the disease. Where there were already a very limited access to good medicine or medical centers or adequate hygiene due to the lack of running water to most of the city, the populace now has no where to turn for any and all illnesses they’re inflicted with.

When your relative gets ill with malaria or when a woman is about to give birth, when someone has pneumonia or typhoid or any other major or simple illness, they have no place to go. Many have died at the doors of the J.F. K Hospital and other medical centers after being turned away by nurses who believe that every case coming to them is an Ebola case. Even pregnant women have died in labor due to this ignorance. But can we blame the medical practitioners who have been the first victims of the deadly disease? Maybe we can. Maybe we should not only blame their ignorance for turning away desperately ill people, but we should also blame the government for not establishing one major Ebola unit so patients with no symptoms of Ebola can have a place to go with their illnesses. How sad!

A CALL TO ACTION IS NECESSARY:

I believe that all Liberians, whether at home or abroad should work together to assist in ending this deadly epidemic. Whether this action is to help your own family members in Liberia understand the need to be careful, the need to report all suspected cases, the need to treat themselves with malaria medications in order to eliminate all confusion about what it is someone has or whether Liberians at home can petition their legislators to quit campaigning and talking politics to prevail on their government they lead to take drastic action and provide the resources needed to combat the disease, there needs to be some action. This is the time for real and true leadership. A nation’s leaders must first care about their people and put them first before themselves.

Liberians living in Liberia must also help themselves by changing heir usual habits, by promoting good hygiene, by ending promiscuity  or sleeping around with every man or woman they can sleep with, stop raping little girls, stop using your bodies for money since the virus is spread through contact with the body fluid of an infected person. The Ebola virus is contagious when the patient is seriously ill, and that patient of course, dies within a few days of being infected by the disease. Maybe this change of habit, of the change in illicit sex practices will help curtail the disease. The government might build a major center, might provide the resources Liberians need, might help teach through public education, how Liberians can combat the disease, but it will take each and every individual to change their old ways of life, and to be honest and not put others at risk when one has the disease. Liberia, my heart bleeds for you, and I call on the Liberian leadership and President Sirleaf to do all she can to help bring relief to our desperate people. We have already lost too many people in the past two decades.

It is not enough to stop shaking hands, my people. Liberians must understand that Ebola can wipe out the best of its population too fast too soon. It is almost too late!!!!