Liberia steps up measures to control Ebola virus

Monrovia, April 16: The government of Liberia has announced that measures have been stepped up to contain the Ebola outbreak in the West African country.

Some of the measures include the establishment of a laboratory at the Liberia Institute of Biomedical Research (LIBR) in Margibi county to test for Ebola and Lassa Fever, the ministry of health said in a statement, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The ministry said it has set up case management treatment centres in Foyah, Lofa county where the disease was first reported from Guinea and the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia.

Stakeholders are working with various technical committees of the National Task Force on Health Emergency in strengthening surveillance, contact tracing, psychosocial support, case management, community mobilisation and sensitisation on preventing and containing the spread of the Ebola virus.

The international organisation Samaritan’s Purse in collaboration with the county health teams is conducting awareness in communities, schools, and churches in Lofa, Gbarpolu, and River Gee counties and Monrovia.

“Other partners, including UNFPA and Plan-Liberia, have printed fliers and posters, including Ebola school-friendly materials for distribution to Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Margibi, and Montserrado counties,” the ministry said.

The Ebola virus has claimed 13 lives in the country, including six confirmed deaths, as of April 14.

The ministry said last week that one new suspected case was reported from Bong county, bringing to 26 the cumulative suspected, probable and confirmed cases.

Ebola virus is considered one of the most aggressive virus known to date in part because of its rapidity to kill, which can be within one week from exposure or three to four days from the first symptoms become apparent. This leaves very little time for any treatment to act and save a sick individual.

IANS