By Janjay F. Campbell
The United States Government through the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has turned over to the Liberian Government a National Public Health Emergency Operations Center to coordinate Ebola response activities in the country.
Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony, the President and Chief Executive Officer of CDC Foundation, Charles Strokes, stated that the dedication of the Center is a milestone for the Government and people of Liberia.
According to him, the Foundational Emergency Operations center would be a place where senior decisions are made and partners gather and where there is unity of command. He stressed that the presence of the Center would also ensure unity of effort among partners from different institutions working on share interests.
The Country Director of CDC, Desmond Williams, mentioned that the Center will be a place to train health workers to be adequately prepared for outbreaks and surveillance. He further said prior to dedicating the Center on Monday, about thirty health workers were trained there in Epidemiology.
He stressed that US$75.7 million has been invested in the country for operation of emergency centers and that CDC spent US$6 million to erect the structure.
Making special remarks, United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, said the newly dedicated Center is now the final home of the Emergency Operating Center having operated in a temporary facility in Sinkor for a year and a half and that the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program provided US$100 million towards the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
The facility will serve as a command center to bring all response functions in one location, specifically the Center and the incident management system established for Ebola response in Liberia and would enable better coordination of national activities, faster decision making and data sharing among public health experts and emergency response partners.