Montserrado County Flag
Educator Says Lack Of Knowledge Spurs Health Workers Ebola Deaths
By Winnie Dixon (Intern)
MONROVIA, August 13 (LINA) – The Dean of the Health Department of the Bomi Community College, Andrew Z. Mambu, has said the high death rate among health workers from Ebola is due to poor knowledge of the disease at the time of its outbreak.
Speaking in an interview with the Liberia News Agency Tuesday, Mambu said before the outbreak, not many persons in Liberia had adequate knowledge of the virus.
He said as a result, institutions teaching health sciences emphasized other medical conditions they felt were more likely to be encountered in the field and constituted larger threats for health workers and the society.
Mr. Mambu added that the outbreak also came at the time of the rift between health workers striking for benefits and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
“This led to a complete breakdown of trust between the caregivers and the ministry which led workers to believe that the ministry’s announcement of the obscure Ebola disease was only a false alarm meant to divert attention from their demands,” he noted.
He said the health workers became even less alert when the government announced that the first Ebola outbreak had ended, particularly when they had not received any training about the disease.
“This situation was compounded by absences of personal protective equipment at health facilities that had to deal with patients showing up with cases of Ebola at the facilities,” he said.
He made particular reference to the situation in Lofa County where, he noted, the vast majority of health workers were persons who resided in communities and had a true commitment to their professions.
Mambu said the fact that the symptoms of Ebola resemble signs of other diseases such as malaria, served as a major avenue for infections among health workers.