U.S. Donates Equipment To Battle Ebola Outbreak In Liberia

Monrovia, Liberia—The U.S. Government has donated another supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the World Health Organization to support the international response to the Ebola outbreak which is affecting Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

The donation, including aprons, face masks, gowns, caps and cadaver bags, are in addition to a previous donation by the U.S. Government.

Last week, the U.S. Government made a similar donation, including rubber boots, coveralls and gloves, which will protect health workers who are at the forefront of providing essential care to patients who are suspected or confirmed to have the Ebola virus.

Health workers who use the protective equipment as recommended are protected from exposure to blood or body fluids from infected patients.

In presenting the items, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Liberia Mission Director, John Mark Winfield, said the U.S. Government is committed to helping in the fight against the spread of the Ebola virus.

World Health Organization Representative to Liberia Dr. Nestor Ndayimirije, who received the donations, immediately passed the essential equipment to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and thanked the U.S. Government for the donations, which he said will help boost Liberia’s response to the Ebola virus.

Dr. Ndayimirije said partnership was important in the fight against the outbreak, and urged stakeholders to unite to improve the response by making sure no health worker is infected and dies because of the lack of protective gear.

In receiving the PPE, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bernice Dahn, warned that communities and religious institutions should not try to serve as health facilities. She said Liberians are still in the denial stage, which is fuelling a deterioration of the situation. “At this point, you do not know what you are dealing with,” Dr. Dahn said. “So, don’t keep sick people in your homes or facilities. 

Three weeks ago, Liberia experienced a second wave of the outbreak. Since that time, more than 30 persons have died of the disease.

The U.S. Government has provided additional support to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to mitigate the Ebola outbreak, which includes supplying materials and messaging in communities to prevent the spread of Ebola, training environmental health technicians, financial support for deployment of field teams to the WHO Africa Regional Office and WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), training of health workers in contact tracing, and the provision of essential supplies for collection, preservation, transport and analysis of blood specimens.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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