President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says the comity of nations has a stake in ending the Ebola crisis and said, “I will not rest until Ebola is defeated.”
The Liberian leader spoke these words when she welcomed the 3,000 U.S military troops into Liberia to assist the government in its fight against the Ebola virus in the country and noted that American partners have also realized that Liberia cannot defeat Ebola alone.
She said Liberians are resilient and strong despite they are suffering greatly from the outbreak of the disease and hoped that the decision of the United States Government will sprout the rest of the international community into action.
President Sirleaf said the disease is not simply a Liberian or West African problem. She described the announcement made yesterday by the U.S. Government of its direct military assistance as a significant moment in the battle against Ebola.
She said Liberia and the US have maintained a historic friendship and that Liberia is looking forward to working closely with the U.S. in finalizing those plans and deploying new resources to their maximum effect.
On Tuesday evening, U.S. President Barack Obama announced at the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new steps to be taken in the coming weeks to combat the growing epidemic in West Africa.
President Obama said a U.S General will lead the efforts from Monrovia and that the military personnel in the region would increase by 3, 000, the U.S will plan and construct treatment centers that would house up to 1, 700 beds.
The U.S. Government also committed more than $100 million to combat Ebola and that it will call on Congress to approve an additional $ 88 million as part of a bill to fund the Federal government while the Pentagon said it is working to shift $ 500 million of currently not yet obligated funds toward the Ebola effort.
The American Government’s gesture will include an increase in trained medical professionals to be sent to help and at the same time medics and other uniformed professionals will train up to 500 health care workers per week to identify and care for people with Ebola.
Also of that gesture, are 400, 000 treatment kits with sanitizers and other items to at-risk homes in an attempt to contain the disease.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has reinforced her earlier message of fighting back in the national fight against the Ebola virus and has reiterated her government’s commitment in seeking every solution by sparing no effort in defeating this vicious enemy.
Addressing the nation late yesterday, President Sirleaf said Liberians have only one choice and that is, together they can all win this fight against Ebola that has left many children as orphans and is at the brink of destroying livelihood.
She said the play button on Liberia’s target for transformation needs to be released because the outbreak of the virus has placed everything on pause leaving the government to act within the scale of capacity that was unexpected.
She announced that her government will take clear actions in the coming weeks to reverse the spread of the virus and each Liberian should take responsibility for all, noting that the government will ask for all the international help but unless Liberians themselves take responsibility this problem will not go away.
The Liberian leader said the next few weeks will be crucial because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will release its trajectory report and urged all Liberians to be realistic and accept the scientific projections.
She said it is her hope that the scenario projected by the CDC does not come to pass because there is hope in a collective and individual ability. She therefore thanked all Liberians particularly the nurses and doctors for the brave decision to save lives as well as the burial team that is doing its best.
President Sirleaf promised that early next week she will show her gratitude beyond words as she also commended the AFL, BIN and LNP in the fight against the virus. She also thanked President Obama and the U.S. Government for scaling up America’s response to fighting the virus in the region.
She said Lofa and Montserrado Counties have been the highest hard hit in the Ebola crisis and said so far 2535 cases have been reported and confirmed with 1328 deaths; 172 being health workers while 82 have been announced dead leaving over 100 orphans, declaring it a ‘health emergency.’
President Sirleaf said her government had already begun putting investments into operations, progressing to improve the health system, seeing hike in the number of airlines at the Robert International Airport, building roads and reducing infant mortality.
She stated further that her government needs to get schools opened, produce more to get out of poverty, care for the orphans and respond to families.