WHO Regional Director Here On Ebola Issue

By Janjay F. Campbell

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo, said they are worried about the spread of the Ebola virus in Liberia.

In a meeting convened yesterday at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Sambo told Minister Gwenigale and his staffs that cross border transmission is of great concern to the WHO. He said they believe that it is possible to stop the disease and that is why he is visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

He congratulated Minister Gwenigale and his team and said there’s more to be done. According to him the Ebola disease is emerging from various communities. Dr. Sambo said he is here to galvanize response efforts and to help mobilize the support needed nationally and internationally to control the outbreak of Ebola and prevent it in the future.

At the same time, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale, has denied receiving any fund from President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria. He thanked Dr. Sambo for the support and said that the Ministry of Health needs additional support.

On the cross border issue, Dr. Gwenigale stressed that the problem with the border is that there are a lot of intermarriages going on. He mentioned that’s how the Ebola disease came into Liberia and that the Ministry of Health is faced with a great challenge. He told Dr. Sambo that traditional practices are other ways the disease is being transmitted.

The Ministry of Health boss said there are other counties that have not been affected by the Ebola virus and that they are doing all they can to prevent the outbreak of the deadly disease in those counties. He appealed to the WHO Regional Director for more support to strengthen their surveillance in those counties and at the borders.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo arrived yesterday in Liberia on an official visit to contribute to the fight against the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak.

During his visit, Dr. Sambo is expected to meet high-level government officials, health partners, as well as UN representatives to advocate for technical and financial support to contain the outbreak and will also attend the launch of the Liberia Strategic Plan for Accelerated Response to Re-occurrence of Ebola Epidemic.