No In Liberia
-As Health Safety Has Increased
-Says Tolbert Nyenswah of NPHIL
The Director-General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) Attorney Tolbert Nyenswah has expressed thanks and appreciation to Liberia’s donor partners in the health sector for increasing their response to fight infectious and other disease outbreaks in Liberia.
“We are grateful to all especially the US center for disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Global Health Security Resources, as Liberia is a satellite state among others. All of these things don’t just happen but through critical thinking,” he said.Speaking at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing yesterday, Atty. Nyenswah said one of the first things they do at NPHIL is to read the disease report on a daily basis and carry out research.
According to Director Nyenswah, it usually takes 90 days to do this, but nowadays it takes less than 24 hours for them to know about disease outlook without going abroad.
He said if one looks at the pre and post Ebola outbreak in Liberia, one can realize that Liberians are now 10 times safer due to the works done at the NPHIL, which makes them excited as these facilities do not exist before.
He noted that they are pleased that Liberia is at the moment free from any outbreak of Ebola. There is no Ebola in Liberia; hence there is no need for the imposition of travel restrictions although we cannot say that it will not happen here as it had done in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to Nyenswah, DR Congo has reported 51 cases of Ebola and 41 dead including 5 health care workers, but the situation at the DR Congo is still low and not a global emergency although the normal Ebola precautions have been put in place.
The NPHIL boss confirmed an outbreak of lassa fever in Liberia mainly in Nimba and Bong counties, adding that the precautions to take include closing food items to prevent rats from putting urine and faeces on them.
“Some people are still eating rats. One of the things we are proud of at the NPHIL is that instead of travelling to Kenema, in Sierra Leone to test for lassa fever in laboratory we can now do it in our facilities in Liberia,” said.
He said in fulfillment of President Weah’s pro-poor agenda, they are trying to train disease inspectors and to establish the facilities, adding that health and sanitation are parts of government’s pro-poor agenda. He added that the provision of vaccines is also a means of empowering the poor man’s child.
He also expressed satisfaction over the increase of life expectancy in Liberia to between 51 to 62 years old, with males living longer while there are chances to increase from 70 to 80 years of age. He also noted that they have also increased reduction in infant and maternal mortality rate in Liberia.
According to Attorney Nyenswah there is still the age old problem of people in Liberia always coming to hospital late, only after exhausting traditional means of healing. (By John L.Momoh).