On several occasion in recent weeks we have pleaded with the government to deploy military personnel along Liberia’s border, especially near our Ebola-affected neighbors, La Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The purpose of this appeal is to help control border crossings and prevent the deadly virus from crossing into Liberia again. Remember, it took only one person, a Guinean woman, to cross over from neighboring Guinea into Liberia at the Foya border in Lofa County that caused the disease to spread like wildfire into our country, setting the record as the worst Ebola hit nation in history.
In several recent Editorials we have pleaded with the government to deploy soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), along with some of the United States forces on the ground to patrol our borders in a bid to help restrain indiscriminate border crossings which have a tendency to reignite the viral spread in our country. For unknown reasons, however, GOL has not heeded this call, and this has led to the continuous spread of the virus across the borders, especially with Sierra Leone.
Today is the eighth day of the year 2015 and we had hoped that by now, we would have truly had something tangible to celebrate–an Ebola-free Liberia. Alas! Here we are, well into the second week of the New Year, facing 49 new Ebola cases, 27 of them confirmed, 13 suspected and nine probable. This is not newspaper speculation. This alarming and distressing report came from the lips of non other than the Ministry of Health Assistant Minister Tolbert Nyenswah, head of the Incident Management System (IMS) established by government to fight the spread of the virus.
And to what did he attribute this discouraging revelation? To “the increased migration of people suspected of the virus and the continuous denial by some residents that people are dying of the Ebola epidemic in the country.” According to the Minister, “people are still observing traditional practices, which undermine the fight against the deadly virus and stifle efforts made by IMS and other international partners.”
Grand Cape Mount is one of the counties closest to the Sierra Leonean border, where there is a renewed spread of the virus. The same thing happened about a month ago, occasioning a repeated call by this newspaper on GOL to monitor very closely the borders to prevent just the same recurrence of this deadly menace that has come again into our country to afflict our hapless people. And we know that we do not have the healthcare delivery capacity to handle normal disease, how much more Ebola?
We once again make this urgent appeal to GOL to deploy soldiers to the borders to monitor and limit border crossings, in a determined bid to restrain the totally unnecessary renewed transmission of the virus into Liberia. Our soldiers should be accompanied by an American contingent, who are far better equipped with transportation, communication and other logistical gear to make the border patrol effective. Let us NOT turn the clock back in this New Year! Let us press on conscientiously and expeditiously press on until Ebola is driven far from Liberia, and even further from the Mano River basin, yea the African continent.