Grand Bassa Senators Nyonblee K. Lawrence
Health Minister to Appear Before Senate Tuesday
By Winnie Dixon
MONROVIA, October 10 (LINA) –The Senate has cited Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale to appear before it on Tuesday, October 14, to brief the honorable body about measures put in place to contain the Ebola disease outbreak in the country.
Dr. Gwenigale is expected to detail a county- to- county plan for the containment of the virus and to also discuss the impact of resources directed towards the Ebola crisis.
The senate reached the decision Thursday during the body’s extraordinary session. The citing of the health minister was based on a communication written to plenary by Senators Nyonblee K. Lawrence of Grand Bassa, Geraldine Doe Sheriff of Montserrado and Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu Counties urging that body to cite the Minister to brief it about the gains and challenges in the fight against the Ebola disease.
Meanwhile, two members of the Liberian Senate have called for the resignation of Health Minister Gwenigale, for alleged misapplication of public health laws revised titles 34.13 and 14.
According to the Liberia News Agency, the revised laws deal with the prevention and suppression of diseases, including the authority of the minister to identify disease carriers as well as order house-to-house visitation to contain the spread of such disease.
Speaking during the body’s extraordinary session on Thursday, the senators pointed out that Minister Gwenigale’s failure to apply all necessary preventive measures at the onset of the discovery of the Ebola virus in Lofa County, forms part of reasons why the virus has spread to all 15 counties of Liberia.
“Decisions on the part of the minister to remain silent and allow his deputies run the affairs of the Ebola crisis sends out danger to the entire process, because we do not know if he is on retirement or Ebola break,” the Senators added.
The senators also indicated the low presence of Gwenigale in spearheading management of the crisis, resulting to the slow motivation and havoc among health workers involved with the process.
They said the minister is further authorized to make rules that form part of health safety net for citizenry when any part of the country becomes affected by the spread of the epidemic, including the provision of speedy internment of dead persons during such occurrences.