SINCE THE SECOND outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia, the country’s health care system has suffered its greatest set-back in years.
THIS IS EVIDENCED of the facts that even the Government of Liberia (GOL) and its international partners have acknowledged that the Ebola crisis has overwhelmed the country’s health care system. Indeed hospitals and health centers in the country, both private and public have been shut down.
WEEKS AFTER THE various hospitals were artificially shut down as a result of health workers abandoning their jobs for fear of being infected with the Ebola virus; the government started a good process by attempting to reopen the hospitals and health centers.
AT THE TIME, Information Minister Lewis G. Brown informed the public that Deputy Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bernice Dahn was leading the campaign to have all hospitals and health centers reopen. He further said tons of medical supplies were distributed to all major hospitals and health centers throughout the country for the smooth operations.
HOWEVER, SINCE DR. DAHN began that process and medicines and other medical supplies were said to be delivered to the various health centers and hospitals around the country, there still seems to be a problem with the Health Care system, as many persons are being continuously rejected at these hospitals or health centers without treatment.
THIS IS UNDOUBTEDLY leading to more deaths of persons suffering from other sicknesses such as malaria, and other common illnesses which sometimes lead to those ill persons giving up the ghost right in the presence of health workers.
THE MORE ASTONISHING part of this is when the person dies, health workers are curious to examine them for Ebola, a situation which always takes days or hours to be completed only to the dismay of family members who feel that if medical attention was given their relative, they might have survived.
THIS DEVELOPMENT INDICATES that Health Care Workers(HCW) are still afraid of the deadly Ebola virus because they might get infected with the virus unknowingly while treating a patient as was the case with other health workers that had succumb to the virus.
BUT THERE HAS been a solution to this problem evidenced of the numerous donations of disinfectants and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as other medical supplies from the United States, China and other partners in the fight against the Ebola virus.
THE QUESTION NOW is where are these PPE and other medical supplies that were brought into the country. Were they distributed for the use of health workers or are they being supplied only to the Ebola treatment centers. Are we going to leave other illnesses untreated because of the fear of the Ebola virus?
THESE ARE THE unhealthy developments that are now leading us to advice that the PPE must be given to all Hospitals and Health Centers for the treatment of all. Since the health care worker does not know if a sick person is suffering from Ebola or not, these equipment must be supplied and used by the health workers to render some level of treatment that will indeed save lives.
THE GOVERNMENT AND her international partners must now see this epidemic as an opportunity to improve the country’s health care system by building the capacity of the various hospitals and health centers as well as the well-being of health workers.
INDEED, BUILDING THE capacity of hospitals and health centers must now become a priority as this is cardinal to the fight against Ebola and the provision of good health system. By doing this, more lives will be saved and Ebola will soon be a history in Liberia’s public health arena.
IF THESE HOSPITALS and health centers are capacitated with the necessary medical supplies and PPE we can without delay eradicate Ebola, provide cure for other sicknesses and cut down the number of unprecedented deaths we have today.