By Janjay F. Campbell
The leader of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), Tim Callaghan, said his team has identified key needs stemming from the Ebola outbreak and is working with the Government of Liberia and partners to address them as soon as possible.
Speaking with reporters yesterday at a press conference held at the United States Embassy in Monrovia, Mr. Callaghan said they are supporting the government with plans and materials and they will continue to assess the situation.
According to him, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed US$14.5 million to help contain the deadly Ebola virus and that the United States Government is doing all it can to support the Government of Liberia.
Meanwhile Mr. Callaghan is appealing to the Government of Liberia and other partners to coordinate with DART and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to enable them work together smoothly to contain the deadly virus.
He stressed that the fight against the Ebola virus is a global fight and that Liberia can not do it alone. He said for the Ebola response, DART will be coordinating critical areas of the response such as planning, operations, and logistics; drawing forth critical assets and resources from across the U.S. Government.
At the same time, Satish Pillai who is a medical officer at the CDC said that this is the largest outbreak that has ever been recorded and that additional staffs will be deployed in Liberia during the coming days noting that the CDC has conducted trainings on case identification and how to use materials that have been donated by other partners.
He said no one knows how long the outbreak will continue, but suggested that contact tracing and case identification will get the situation under control. He mentioned that they have identified the gaps and are working along with the Ministry of Health and health workers in the various counties.
The DART leader and the CDC medical officer sent out their condolences to the bereaved families and the people of Liberia, saying that they are aware how difficult it has been for Liberians since the Ebola outbreak and hoped that the situation gets better as they are expecting experts in the coming days.