Health Screening At Klay Checkpoint…Ellen Pleads With Health Workers; Lawmakers Endorse State Of Emergency

By Jefferson D. Tweh & Garmonyou Wilson

In an effort to combat the deadly Ebola virus in the country, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Authorities have demonstrated its commitment and begun major screening of inhabitants at Klay Checkpoint, Bomi County.

The Nurse Registrar at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mr. Gabriel Moore, said nurses and doctors are screening individuals at the checkpoint, and if anybody’s temperature is found to be high, such person will not be allowed to cross; rather will go back to his or her destination for treatment.

In an exclusive interview with this paper, Mr. Moore said since the nurses and doctors started the screening process, they have not discovered high temperature or fever in those people who have been screened.

Mr. Moore told the Inquirer that the nurses and doctors will work effectively and efficiently to make sure that people are prevented from the deadly Ebola virus.

One of the passengers who spoke to our reporter, Ma Hawa said she was so much happy for the screening process because she has spent three days at the Klay Checkpoint without food while stranded but after the screening, she was allowed by the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the Liberia National Police (LNP) to cross and come back to Monrovia.

“My son, just imagine, I left nothing with my children in Monrovia; right now I am confused as to whether they are getting something to eat because I did not leave anything with them, ”Ma Hawa stated.

Some of the marketers who also spoke to our reporter said they were stranded because of the situation they encountered at the checkpoint.

“We bought our goods and barely had our transportations to go to Monrovia but to our utmost surprise, AFL and LNP prevented us from crossing the checkpoint at Klay while coming from Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties because of the State of Emergency,” marketers averred.

According to the marketers, they have spent some days at Klay Checkpoint without food and had sleepless nights, something they described as gruesome.

Meanwhile some of the vehicles were seem crossing the checkpoint after the screening of individuals by the authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

In a related development, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in a special meeting held with some health workers across the country thanked them for their endless strides in combating the deadly Ebola virus.

President Sirleaf stated that the health workers are truly working in the spirit of Florence Nightingale.

The Liberian President admitted to the scores of health workers over the weekend that indeed the Government was not prepared for the virus; however she thanked them for putting their country first and helping to tackle the deadly virus.

She acknowledged that the Government is working vigorously to examine what went wrong in the virus outbreak which was thought to be eradicated in March of this year resurfaced in April and has now reached epidemic proportion.

The Liberian leader used the occasion to address some of the concerns that health workers are faced with ensuring them that in due course their demands would be met.

Speaking under the banner of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia, the Secretary General of the Association, George Williams, said an increase in number of Ebola Centers, sufficient ambulances, sufficient safety gears, death benefits, among others were what the workers demand to have a cordial relationship with the Government.

In a Related development, the Liberian Senate on Friday, unanimously endorsed President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s request to the Upper House to concur with the imposition of a State of Emergency as part of measures to contain the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia.

On Thursday of last week, the House of Representatives deliberated and crafted a Resolution to endorse the State of Emergency that was declared by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in accordance with Article 86(a)(b) of the Constitution of Liberia.

On Friday, the Liberian Senate convened an emergency session at which time members of that august body endorsed the imposition of the State of Emergency after more than several hours of intensive deliberations on the issue.

The lawmakers said there was a dire need to impose the State of Emergency as the outbreak of the Ebola virus poses serious danger to the country and its people. Even before the President’s decision to impose the State of Emergency, the Senate has been pushing for this describing the Ebola virus as a threat to the survival of residents of Monrovia.

Following several measures by the Liberian Government intended to curtail the deadly Ebola virus which has killed hundreds of persons in Monrovia and other parts of the country, President Sirleaf in a communication dated August 7, 2014 requested the National Legislature to concur on the institution of the State of Emergency in the spirit of cooperation that exists amongst the three branches, giving the gravity of the prevailing situation.

At the same time, the Liberian Senate has concurred with the House of Representatives in passing a resolution on the imposition of the State of Emergency.

Two thirds of the membership of the Lower House on Friday passed the resolution as required by the Constitution, with 52 for, three against and two abstentions in a Special Session.

Due to the threat posed by the Ebola virus, government of Liberia over the weekend announced the deployment of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to major entry points in the country.

Information Minister, Lewis Brown, announcing the measures said government’s latest action is intended to prevent further spread of the virus.