Enhancing Liberia’s Ebola Response: Zion Grove, Partner Feat ELWA Hospital

Though it is being widely reported by local and international health related institutions in and out of Liberia, that the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which has reeked human, socio-cultural and economic havoc, leading to the hitherto unpredicted deaths of nearly ten thousand Liberians and foreign residents, not to exclude more than one hundred Medical Doctors and health workers, as well as millions lost to a drastic drop in revenue collection, according to the Liberian Government, is literally in ‘retreat’ at an encouraging pace, efforts are continuing by stakeholders to ensure the enhancement of the campaign to finally eradicate the virus.

One of such local stakeholders in the ongoing battle against Ebola, which has statistically rendered many Liberian children orphaned, is the historical Zion Grove Baptist Church, located in the St. Paul’s River Right Bank city of Brewerville, outside Monrovia.

The Church’s ‘Ebola Prevention Emergency Unit’ (EPEU), in partnership with the Lagos based Ikoyi Baptist Church (IBC), over the weekend donated a consignment of medical and humanitarian materials to the ELWA Hospital, for use in its continued contributions to keeping the spirit and aspirations for the building of an accessible and affordable health sector in the country.

It can be recalled that the ELWA Hospital, at the peak of worse days of the hemorrhagic killer disease, became the only medical facility catering to the, by then, hundreds of ghastly Ebola cases, but not without some of its hardworking personnel becoming sacrificial victims, in a struggle to safe millions of their compatriots from what would have eventually turn out to become imminent extinction.

The Ebola Prevention Emergency Unit of the Zion Grove Baptist Church, it can also be recalled, with support from devout members and partners, both at home and abroad, has been actively engaged on several fronts in the fight against Ebola, since the disease invaded Liberia last March, 2014.

Making the presentation on the hospital’s Paynesville compound Friday, the Senior Pastor of the Church, commonly referred to as “Zion Grove,” Rev. John D. Karmo, said his Church, in partnership with the Ikoyi Baptist Church in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, was humbled, yet pleased to identify with the Hospital in its fight to rid the country of Ebola, as well as other communicable but preventable diseases.

According to Rev. Karmo, he was also even more gratified that the Medical Doctor receiving the donation on behalf of the ELWA Hospital, himself is an Ebola survivor, after becoming infected while treating another individual.

The donation, the Liberian Baptist Cleric furthered, was the Ikoyi Baptist Church’s own way of identifying with Liberians during the difficult Ebola period, adding that the message of the Church in this crisis time is that “you are not alone in the struggle.”

Rev. Karmo stressed that the intended purpose of materials contained in the donation, is to ensure complementary nutritional diet assistance for patients admitted at the Hospital, and keeping the facility clean and sanitized for all users.

Meanwhile, receiving the donation worth more than US$ 7,000.00 on behalf of the Hospital’s Administration, Dr. Rick Sacra, a Holden Physician, thanked the Zion Grove Baptist Church, and pledged that the materials, which he described as “timely,” will go a long way in bringing relief, especially so as the facility has been hard hit during the crisis.

Dr. Sacra also urged the Pastor, officers and members of the ZGBC to extend thanks and appreciation, on behalf of the ELWA Hospital, to the Ikoyi Baptist Church in Ikoyi, Lagos State, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for its thoughtfulness in coming to the humanitarian and health needs of the country, during the Ebola period.

He expressed hope that the donation will not be the first nor last, as, while there are encouraging signs of a decline in new cases across the country, there still exist the pressing need for concerted extended efforts to extinguish the disease from Liberia once and for all.

Among items contained in the donation, were several bags of 25kg rice, containers of edible oil, cartoons of sardines, as well as washing and bathing soap. Others were, basic body energizing and health enhancement drinks and beverages, including cartoons of oats, ovaltine, bottle water and buckets of chlorine, etc.