President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Upbeat Over Ebola Successes; Visits Nimba County
SANNIQUELLIE, October 9 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has pointed out that she was not surprised at the successes now being scored in the Ebola fight as collective effort is the only way to eradicate the deadly virus.
“Cautiously” welcoming news of the reduction in Ebola cases in Nimba County where she ended a one-day visit Tuesday, October 7, President Sirleaf noted that over the past few weeks, Liberians have begun to demonstrate that with support from international partners.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader made the statement in response to an update on the Ebola virus disease and the general health care situation in Nimba County by the county’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Collins Bawah.
President Sirleaf’s visit to the north-central region was part of her ongoing motivational and acquaintance visits to health care facilities across the country in the wake of the ravaging of the Ebola disease in three Mano River Union member countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
At the G.W. Harley Memorial Hospital in Sanniquellie, the Liberian leader expressed delight that Liberians have gone beyond the denial stage and have joined in the collective fight against the disease.
She urged the people of Nimba County to cooperate with health care workers and to continue to adhere to their pieces of advice on the killer virus.
The Liberian leader announced to the ecstatic crowd, that Government had now reached a decision on the payment of risk benefits to all health care workers across the country.
She further informed them that she had also brought them Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other essential health care supplies, including detergents, and assorted food items.
Continuing further, President Sirleaf stressed the importance of eradicating the Ebola virus from the country as it will lead to the resumption of infrastructural development across the country, including the pavement of the Yekepa-Monrovia highway - a project that has been suspended due to the Ebola outbreak that forced contractors to return to their home countries.
“We told you that we would begin to pave the road from Yekepa to Ganta. It is expected to commence this dry season. This is why it is good that we all fight together to get this Ebola virus out of our way in order to return to our development initiatives,” President Sirleaf said as she addressed citizens who had gathered at the G.W. Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie.
Welcoming President Sirleaf to the hospital earlier, Dr. Collins Bowah said though there was a need for an Ebola Treatment Center in the county as a precautionary measure; the county has considerably reduced the transmission of the virus through a collective fight.
He disclosed that Nimba County has registered 79 confirmed Ebola cases out of 249 probable and suspected cases with 49 deaths; five of which were health care workers.
During President Sirleaf’s one-day visit to Nimba County, she also stopped over at the Kpain Clinic along the Gbarnga-Ganta highway run by the Liberian Government, Ganta Methodist Hospital, and the Yekepa Hospital operated by Arcelor Mittal.
In the county’s commercial city, Ganta, the Liberian leader witnessed the opening of an Ebola Treatment Unit there and the turning over of a mini-bus to the Ganta Methodist Hospital by the United Nation’s Children Agency (UNICEF) as part of its support to the facility in its Ebola fight.
While in the mining town, Yekepa, President Sirleaf reassured the company of government fullest protection as long as it continues to operate under Liberian laws. She promised that those accused of vandalizing the properties of Arcelor Mittal earlier this year would have their day in court.
She assured the company that government will continue to create an enabling environment for investment opportunities thereby leading to job creation and will not allow any group of people to undermine development by their actions.
She urged citizens of the county to seek peaceful means to their grievances as government will equally not allow their rights to be violated by any company operating in Nimba County, and Liberia in general.
Meanwhile, family members of the dozens of those now facing court hearing for vandalizing Arcelor Mittal properties earlier this year have pleaded with President Sirleaf for clemency on their children admitting that they were in error to have destroyed the company’s properties rather than seek peaceful means to their grievances.
During a stop-over in Zolowee Town, the citizens informed the Liberian leader that they have not comprehended why their children had to go to the extent of their action which led the company to lose millions of dollars’ worth of assets. They pleaded for a presidential pardon.
In response, President Sirleaf told the weeping women that the court process to determine as to whether they were culpable is ongoing and urged them to let the laws of Liberia take its due course as a means to deter future repetition.