Liberia's Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Julia Duncan-Cassel
Rebuilding Health System Cardinal To Post-Ebola Recovery – Min. Cassel
MONROVIA, March 19 (LINA) - Liberia's Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Julia Duncan-Cassel, has said that the post -Ebola recovery agenda must seek to rebuild and strengthen the health system of the affected countries.
She said building the capacity of nurses, doctors and specialists, working in improved health facilities, were key to preventing such epidemic in future.
Minister Cassel made the remarks at an event organized by the three Ebola-affected Mano River Union countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, on the sidelines of the Commission on the Status of Women Conference currently being held in New York.
Minister Cassel said an assessment by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the U.S. Center for Disease Control, revealed that the lack of adequate training in core Ebola response strategies aided the rapid spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
According to a dispatch from the Liberian Permanent Mission at the UN, Cassel underscored the importance of the National Ebola response strategy which, according to her, ensured the timely delivery of essential supplies, including personal protective equipment to the county health teams.
"As we bend the curve, on the EVD, we need to rebuild and strengthen our health care delivery system - train community health care workers and nurses as well as doctors and specialists to care for Ebola survivors as most of them have been stigmatized in their communities," she said.
The Minister said the Liberian Government, through her ministry, is now focusing on foster care program to address the issues of Ebola victims, especially the orphans.
This program, the minister said, seeks to train people within a given community to serve as foster care parents, adding, "We have documented more than 3,700 Ebola orphans of which more than 1,700 are boys and 1,900 are girls."
Minister Cassell also revealed that as part of the recovery program government has provided educational opportunities for the Ebola orphans and put in place the social safety net program to accommodate the extremely poor and labor constrained families headed by females.
For her part, Guinean Gender Minister Sanaba Kaba said that the Ebola outbreak seriously affected the country to the extent that most humanitarian organizations either scaled down their activities or left the country.
She informed forum that Guinea has recorded a total number of 4,229orphans, and that the country had made considerable progress in social protections as well as establishing and equipping transit centers for kids.
Sierra Leonean Gender Minister Moijue Kaikai revealed that women and girls were the most affected as they were the care-givers during the height of the Ebola crisis.
He pointed out that the Government of Sierra Leone has put in place a post-Ebola strategy which will focus on the health sector, including the human resource capacity of health workers.