By Antoinette Sendolo
Liberians are by now anticipating the end of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday when the World Health Organization (WHO) will declare Liberia Ebola-free by if there is no new reported case of the virus in the country.
At a recent press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism, Information Minister, Lewis Brown disclosed that WHO will declare Liberia Ebola-free if no case of the virus is reported. By Saturday Liberia will be completing 42 days to the Ebola countdown, a bench mark set by the international community for a country to be declared free of the uncompromising virus.
Ebola claimed the lives of over 4,000 Liberians as well as foreign nationals residing in the country, devastating every fabric of the nation society including the health sector, traditional, religious and cultural activities. The virus created enmity among Liberians to the extent that people were not allowed to touch their sick relatives, friends or love ones neither were they allowed to touch the remains of their dead love ones due to the effect of the virus.
Despite the threat posed by the vicious virus, the Government of Liberia and the citizens were very resilience in containing the virus ensuring that the country reaches the zero line. With the latest news that Liberia is left with just a day to complete the required 42 days to the countdown, many Liberians have begun rejoicing over the good news and are praising countries and organizations that stood by Liberia in fighting against the deadly pestilence that devastating the three West African countries.
Some citizens spoken to yesterday lauded Presient President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her stance against the virus, the Government of Liberia and other friendly governments and organizations including the United States, China, Uganda, Nigeria, Sweden, Cuba and others that stood by Liberia in its times of difficulties.
The government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare is expected to launch its Integrated Measles campaign today aimed at vaccinating children from six months old to children under five years.
The Measles campaign which seeks to protect children under five years from being affected by the measles virus is said to be certified by the Ministry of Health and other partners.
The measles and polio vaccinations process begin today, May 8, 2015 and runs to May 14, 2015. The vaccinations target children six months old to children less than five years.
Speaking during the Information Ministry’s regular press briefing, the head of the Incident Management System, Mr. Tolbert Nyeswah, disclosed that most children in ten of the fifteen counties are already being affected by the measles virus something he described as again troubling for the country.
He said children have already started experiencing signs and symptoms of the measles in some parts of the country something he said poses serious challenge to the health of those children.
Mr. Nyeswah called on parents to take advantage of the vaccination exercise adding that the signs and symptoms of measles virus are as common as those of the Ebola virus.
He named some of signs and symptoms of measles as high temperature, red eyes, and joint pains amongst others.
The head of the Incident Management system encouraged all parents to take their children to the various vaccination sites in order to keep them free and safe from the measles virus adding that there is no cost attached.
At the same time, Mr. Nyeswah is calling on Liberians to continue to adhere to all the necessary Ebola preventive measures throughout the country as the country has made significant gains in combating the virus.
He disclosed that on May 9, 2015 which marks the end of the forty-two days count down since the death of the last confirmed Ebola case, Liberia is expected to be declared free of Ebola if there would be no reported Ebola case in the country.