YESTERDAY THE UNITED States Military reiterated its vow to remain in the combined civil-military operation efforts in fighting the Ebola virus disease in the country. The commitment was made when the U.S. Major General, Darryl Williams who served in a pioneering position as the first Commander of the U.S. Military in Liberia for five weeks formally introduced the incoming Commander of the U.S. led Operation United Shield, Gary J. Volesky to the leadership of the Ministry of National Defense.
AMONG OTHER THINGS, Major General Williams announced the turning over of the Tubmanburg, Bomi County Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) this week while that of Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County will be completed and dedicated next week.
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAMS said the U.S. Military Operation is prepared to work with the government in eradicating Ebola and sharing its expertise with the Liberian military and described Defense Minister Samukai’s role in this mission as extraordinary because he has opened the Liberian military facility to be used for the combined efforts.
DEFENSE MINISTER SAMUKAI also emphasized how his soldiers were very keen on learning how to construct, manage, and maintain the facilities as well as to benefit from the quality of medical healthcare services provided, noting that it is an opportunity to shadow and learn as well as build the capacities that will benefit the AFL for a long term. Minister Samukai said given the challenges of Ebola, these trainings will provide a level of coordination and support. He also said the kind of partnership developed will be enduring as the Ministry of National Defense appreciates and looks forward to it.
TO DATE, AMONG the plans of the U.S. Military operation which is beefed up by the AFL engineering unit, nine ETUs are to be constructed in seven counties with the first three located in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Grand Bassa to be completed and turned over to the government of Liberia and USAID before the end of the month.
INDEED, THIS PARTNERSHIP is worth commending and it is our hope that the Liberian military specifically the engineering unit will pay keen attention so that its capacity can be built to tackle pandemic recurrence head-on.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF ETUs, its management and maintenance strategy we believe will be different from the normal tents’ construction and many thanks to the US operation team that this time it is getting Liberians involved so that we too can benefit and help ourselves in future case management which to us is a long term moral investment.
HOWBEIT, THIS WILL be a delusion if we do not consider how weak our health care delivery system was before the crippling of the outbreak of the epidemic which has left scar in the system. So to know that mobile laboratories and quality health care services are being set up in collaboration with our army’s engineering unit is a welcoming news and hope that those structures remain so that our soldiers can continue to apply the skills and serve as trainer of trainers to our healthcare workers.
WE SHARE OUR National Defense’s gratitude in this coordination and the level of support being provided by the U.S. Government especially in these times that Ebola has engulfed our country and hope as Minister Samukai noted, the benefits will be a long term.