Health Ministers Of Liberia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Others Meet

By Mark N. Mengonfia

MONROVIA-Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, will never forget the lasting scar left behind by the deadly Ebola virus disease in their region.

March 23, 2014 was the year that begins the sorry in the lives of citizens of the region but, mainly Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have a very sad story of the year as the three countries recorded the total of 11,310 deaths with a total of 28,616 cases of EVD according to the World Health Organization (WHO) records.

The region managed to have contained the killer virus after hundreds and thousands of lives were lost.

Now that Ebola virus has resurfaced in one of the countries of the region (Guinea), it is something that is scaring for the rest of the sisterly countries (Liberia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone); thus forcing them to meet in Guinea to plan line of attack against the virus to no spread in the region.

“We came to Guinea to discuss plans on how to build resilience against Ebola virus before it spreads through the region” Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Willimina Jallah said via a telephone conversation from Guinea on Tuesday.

As part of their discussion, she said they listened to the preparedness plans of each of the countries and saw how they can work together on a daily basis and support each other to protect their region.

“We all know the devastating effect it will cause us if it leaves from Guinea to other countries”  said Dr. Jallah.

Countries in the region have porous border crossing points.

One can easily walk through from Ivory Coast to Liberia or from Guinea to Liberia, from Mali to Ivory Coast alike.

This porosity of the borders is what worrying the Health Ministers of the region to have gone for the emergency meeting in the Republic of Guinea.

The first outbreak of the virus which lasted for about two years started from Guinea and later crossed entered  Liberia and caused what health authorities described as ‘havoc’.

After five years, the virus reappeared in the region as the government of Guinea confirmed a new Ebola outbreak in the southeastern city of Nzerekore, near the border with Liberia, Guinean Minister of Health, Remy Lamah confirmed.

Liberia’s Health Minister Jallah via the telephone interview said during their gathering, the Health Minister of Guinea informed them that over one thousand and eighty five persons have been revaccinated thus far against the virus, while they (Guinean government) is expected to contain the virus by April of this year if it does not leave.

Dr. Jallah indicated that during their meeting, they learned from each other and as well discussed on stepping out of their comfort zone and  see how citizens were.

“We learned from the World Health Organization (WHO) the protocols we all should be using at various ports of entries (Land, sea and air ports) to help us contain the spread of this virus” Dr. Jallah added.


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