Health Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale
Herbalists, Spiritualist Warned Against Ebola Patients
By Prince Nagbe
MONROVIA, April 13 (LINA) - Authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare have warned herbalists and spiritual leaders against treating and praying for people infected with the deadly Ebola virus.
The warning was made at programs marking the observance of National Fast and Prayer Day held at the Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia over the weekend by the Director of Communication and Outreach at the Ministry of Health, Rev. John Sumo.
According to Mr. Sumo, treating or praying for suspected Ebola patients by herbalists and spiritual leaders does not only pose a threat to their lives but also to the lives of several people as the disease is easily spread through such a medium.
The Communication Specialist also called on parents to stop their children from eating plums and other fruits that are partly eaten by bats and to also avoid touching people who have come down with signs and symptoms of the virus.
Sumo said the two key ways the virus can be transmitted are from animals to humans and from human to human.
According to the Ministry of Health Communication official, the National Taskforce of the Ministry, including experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF), is working around the clock to address the situation.
Sumo said the Ministry has produced and distributed sensitization messages throughout the 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia and is creating more awareness about the Ebola virus as it is the only remedy to avoid the spread of the disease.
He called on Liberians to make use of the emergency lines of the Ministry of Health in case they suspect cases of the virus in their various communities.
The emergency lines, according to Rev. Sumo, are 0886530260, 0886549805, 07770198517 or 0777549805.
Ebola is a deadly virus that was discovered in 1976 and has no cure but can only be prevented.
Since its outbreak in Liberia in March, there has been 25 cases reported which include confirmed and suspected.
Of the total number of cases, there have been 12 deaths of which four were confirmed, three in Lofa and one in Margibi.