Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Substantial Help At Last For Ebola-Stricken Liberia, Guinea & Sierra Leone

My heart went out to the people of Liberia, when I saw television news reports of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf listening attentively to Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, who had called on her a few days ago, when he undertook a trip to Ebola-stricken Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, to confer with their leaders.

Liberia's leader looked so forlorn. Sadly, the Ebola fever virus outbreak has all but destroyed the economy of Liberia - which President Johnson Sirleaf  and her people have worked so hard to rebuild, after years of dictatorship preceeded by civil war.

The same can be said of Guinea and Sierra Leone - Liberia's immediate neighbours - both of which have also been badly hit by the Ebola fever virus outbreak. It all seems so unfair and cruel. Fate has not been kind to those sister nations of ours, at all.

However, at long last, help is on the way that could make a real difference  for the three nations in coping with the disaster that has befallen their people: President Barack Obama's administration is stepping in to help.

The U.S. is said to be preparing to send up to some 3,000 military personnel to Liberia - to help fight the west African Ebola fever outbreak. The Washington Post says the effort will cost about US$750 millions over 6 months.

Liberia is the hardest-hit of the three neighbouring states with the largest numbers of deaths from Ebola fever.

During what has been designated 'Operation United Assistance' U.S. military engineers will build 17 treatment centres,  each with a 100-bed capacity,  across Liberia. A 25-bed hospital to treat infected healthcare workers is also being prepared to be sent to Liberia.

65 United States Public Health Commissioned Officers will be deployed to manage and staff that hospital. 400,000 basic Ebola fever response kits will be supplied to households in Liberia. It will include sanitisers.

 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is also bringing in 50,000 home health-care kits from Denmark, which specially trained young volunteers will distribute to people living in remote rural  communities in Liberia, according to the same Washington Post news report by Lena Hunt.

 The U.S. military and specialists from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also help train up to 500 healthcare professionals a week in West Africa - in the care and treatment of those infected with the Ebola fever virus. The CDC already has as many as 100 specialists in west Africa currently.

Now that the U.S. military is stepping  in to work with international organisations on the ground in west Africa, such as:  Doctors Without Borders, other international  NGO's like Samaritan's Purse and healthcare professionals in the overwhelmed healthcare systems of the three hardest-hit nations experiencing the Ebola fever outbreak, one's hope is that the frightening projections of as many as over some 250,000 people eventually becoming infected with the Ebola fever virus across west Africa (including Ghana), will not now materialise.

 We must be thankful that at long last, the world's best-equipped military force is stepping in to help contain and halt the spread of the Ebola fever virus in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone - as well as help train as many as 500 healthcare professionals a week, from across the region, in the treatment and care of Ebola fever patients.

That really is good news - for which we must all thank the government and people of the U.S.A.

And one is also certain that the leaders  and citizens of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone,  will also be grateful that whiles others shunned them, Ghana's President Mahama came to visit them: to show his solidarity in the face of a common danger that threatens all of west Africa, as well as to donate food items to  Ebola fever patients in the three sister nations.

Thank goodness that substantial help is now finally coming to Ebola-stricken Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone: as the world wakes up to the dangers of a virus that has the potential to wipe out many if it is not contained within the next six months.

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