Working On The Ebola Response Mechanism

Last week, we published an editorial, captioned: ‘Identifying with the fight against Ebola’ in which we, among other things, urged those responsible for receiving and expending funds being donated to ensure proper accountability and at the same time called on the authorities to intensify efforts to create a strategy that will not result to residents resolving to community protests.

The editorial at the same time acknowledged the many contributions that are being exerted especially by international partners towards the fight against this deadly virus despite the epidemic is still active in the country. It was also mentioned how everyday several corpses were found at homes or in open places on the streets with community members hopelessly calling on the Ebola Task Force to respond by assisting in removing the dead bodies.

In that editorial published on August 14, we said being cognizant that many persons have begun identifying with the fight of Ebola in the country, it is equally important that the National Task Force use wisely and appropriately the funds and items provided because there were many who are still complaining about the lack of swiftness in getting the National Task Force to respond as expected.

While we continue to call on Liberians to take all preventive measures in curtailing further the spread of the virus across the communities and country in general, we are equally concerned about the wave of deaths and how the Task Force is coordinating itself in tackling this situation especially with the straight instruction that nobody is to touch a dead person or someone suspected of Ebola.

As we continue to thank the Ministry of Health and Social welfare for creating a massive awareness strategy that has brought onboard several national partners including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Defense and the National Police with special assistance from the General Services Agency, we are also urging this coordination to beef up a proper Ebola response mechanism that will match the contributions already provided so that the process will attract more assistance if it is to be eradicated.

Today, we are constrained to reinforce this editorial with a clarion call to the Task Force on its response mechanism component that seems to be very weak because of the heap of hopelessness the community members have expressed in anger by their day-to-day protest action or road blocks.

If the mechanism is not coordinated on how to remove the dead from in communities, the disbeliefs by some Liberians will grow and the virus will continue to spread as it is difficult to see a love one die much more to sit and watch their dead body lay in the street or floor of a room without being attended to for days.

For us, we are convinced that if there is a proper response mechanism established by the Ebola Task Force, the team will be able to quarantine the facility or home as well as remove the dead body on time so that the family members do not get in contact with the person out of anger and there will not be protest from family members or community leaders.

We emphatically stated in our previous editorial on this matter that, “to whom much is given, much is expected,” hence, the National Task Force on Ebola must make swift moves into communities where they are called and avoid communities using protest as the only language the government and its task force on Ebola understands. A HINT TO THE WISE IS QUITE SUFFICIENT!