By Timothy T. Seaklon
It has been disclosed in Monrovia that the United States (US) Military will build a 25-bedoom hospital in the country to buttress efforts aimed at fighting the Ebola virus. United State Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Madam Debra Malac, said discussions are ongoing as where the hospital should be built but was certain that it would be constructed in Montserrado County.
Ambassador Malac addressing the weekly Press Briefing at the Ministry of Information said the unprecedented outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa is an International Security priority for the U.S. Government and as such they will continue to be engaged in the region to eradicate the disease.
The U.S. Envoy said, “This is the worst outbreak of this virus in 40 years since it was first discovered. We defeated it and this time we will defeat it again. We will stop Ebola and it will take more work.”
Outlining the U.S. Government’s support since the outbreak of the EVD, Ambassador Malac said her government had spent US$100m dollars to combat the disease since March noting that such a support is in the form of kinds, materials and most in technical support from experts coming into the three most affected countries, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Madam Malac stressed that since this is the first devastating outbreak of the EVD, the United States is seriously responding by deploring the needed resources and technocrats to fight the virus.
She noted that already the United States has about 100 experts in West Africa among which are 70 Disease Control Experts, to combat the disease and has equally increased support to affected countries through international humanitarian organizations, Non-governmental Organizations(NGOs) the United Nations system and other experts.
The United States Diplomat used the occasion to dispel rumors that the United States Embassy near Monrovia has been closed to the public saying, “Our doors are open to the public and we are fully staffed but most especially overstaffed due to the number of experts coming from the U.S. government to help fight the Ebola.”
Ambassador Malac recounted the numerous contributions made thus far by the United States Government to aid West Africa fight the Ebola virus among which include the provision of chlorines, buckets, body bags, Ebola Testing laboratories with one being at the ELWA Ebola Treatment unit, as well as US$100,000 assistance to the Liberia National Police (LNP) for the procurement of equipment and Personal Protective Gears to be used by officers who accompany burial teams.
She also recounted the United States efforts aimed at training health practitioners and noted that a major training process was in the making for the Armed Forces of Liberia and the LNP.
On the isolation of Ebola affected countries which include Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, by the international Community, Ambassador Malac said the United States is working with countries around the world and not to isolate these countries as isolation is not the answer to the problem.
“We do not want countries around the world to impose travel ban because we are dealing with the guidelines provide by the World Health Organization (WHO) which does not encourage isolation of these countries. However we encourage screening of travellers and not a travel ban,” Ambassador Malac said.
One the out-sourcing of the Ebola fight to other countries or Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Ambassador Malac said the fight against Ebola is a collective responsive effort that does not belong to a particular country or an NGO. Instead, she noted that it must be a unified coordinated effort.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Diplomat said the United States is awaiting the report of the investigation of the West Point incident which led to the alleged shooting of ShakiKamara who bled to death and two others who are receiving treatment in Monrovia.