President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Elated With Partners’ Efforts In Ebola Fight
MONROVIA, May 1 (LINA) - As Liberia inches to being declared Ebola free, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been upbeat over the partnership with a number of U.S. institutions in curbing the spread of the disease.
She named the U.S. Congress, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), which led the U.S. Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and most especially the U.S. Military in the Ebola fight.
“When you reach out and people have confidence in your commitment, your own dedication and acceptance in your responsibility of nationhood, then you get the response that we were able to get through this partnership,” President Sirleaf declared.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader made the statement at the closing ceremony of the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU) at Camp Eason and turning over of the facilities to the Government of Liberia which took place at the site in Charlesville, Margibi County on Thursday, April 30.
On behalf of the Liberia people, President Sirleaf thanked the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps.
“You left your homes and came to conditions that you did not know; conditions that were difficult. But you adjusted, worked with us and saved so many lives by the facilities that you managed,” she said.
Touching on Liberia’s steadfastness in the Ebola fight, President Sirleaf outlined three cardinal lessons learnt that inspired a success story, namely preparedness, participation and partnership.
As regards participation, she highlighted the involvement of the various community leaders, citizens, and workers who joined the leadership of the Incidence Management System to fight the disease.
“We owe it to them for being able to take charge and assume responsibility and leadership in the fight with the contact tracing, and advocacy about the disease and how it can be defeated,” she added.
On partnership, she praised the international community for its partnership with Liberia, especially when the country did not know about the virus, how to respond and lacked the resources.
“I want to say that the United States responded in a very significant way, including President Obama and many others,” she said, adding further that President Obama responded in a personal way.
The MMU, a 25-bed field hospital, was constructed by the U.S. Government as a unique Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) designed to provide high level care specifically for all healthcare responders that became infected with the Ebola virus.
It was built to bolster the confidence of healthcare workers to respond and if they fell ill, they would have a place to go for high quality care.
During its six months lifespan, the MMU teams cared for 42 patients from nine different nations, including 18 healthcare responders with Ebola. Nine healthcare workers survived the Ebola virus at the facility.