New Ebola Patients Holding Center Opens in Ganta City, Nimba County
Ganta City, Nimba County, Liberia
E. Julu Swen
In response to the many criticisms about government slow action towards the fight against
the Ebola virus, the Government of Liberia (GOL) opened a holding center for suspected Ebola patients in Ganta City, Nimba County on Monday, September 15, 2014. The holding center is the former Eye and Fistula clinics which were part of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital facilities. The two buildings were refurbished by ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) the world’s leading steel and mining company at the cost of $42,000 based on the request of the County Superintendent, Honorable Fong Zuagele.
Presenting the keys of the center to the Nimba County authorities, the General Manager and Chief Technical Officer of AML, Prayaga Sreenivas Prasad said his company was glad to support the Government of Liberia in its fight against the Ebola virus through the refurbishing of the facilities which will bring great relief to the people of Nimba County and Liberia as a whole. The mining boss said his company could not work productively when the workforce they are depending on is being overcome by the Ebola virus. “We will stand with you in every way possible to this virus and if possible kick it out of Liberia,” Mr. Prasad stressed. The Chief Technical Officer of AML hailed the cordial relationship between his company and the people of Nimba County and pledged his company’s support in any lifesaving venture. “Our production quota is not affected by the affliction cause by this virus because our workers as heeding the various health messages,” Mr. Prasad added.
“I wish the county did not have to use these facilities for the Ebola virus,” the AML Chief lamented.
For his part, the Superintendent of Nimba County, Fong Zuagele thanked the AML family for refurbishing the facilities and the United Methodist Church for making the facilities available to the county at this crucial time. “This hospital is the heartbeat of this county when it comes to providing health services in this part of Liberia,” the Superintendent emphasized. He praised the UMC Ganta Hospital describing the authorities of the hospital and their staff as the shining example of what a health facility should be in times of health hazards. He also said the hospital remained open throughout the Ebola virus outbreak even in the absence of adequate and requisite protective gears. Referring to the AML, the Superintendent said, “Your contribution to this Ebola holding center project brightens the light at the end of the Ebola crisis tunnel.”
At the turning over ceremony, the WHO representative, Musu Duworko said the Ebola virus outbreak is worsening in Nimba County due to several factors including persistent denial by the people of the county. The WHO Rep said as of September 13, 2014 the number of Ebola cases in Nimba County were 135 with 91 deaths and about 600 contacts that could not be easily traced by health workers or Ebola Task Force members for possible and early treatment. “The management of this holding center should be prioritized to ensure better outcome in the prevention, treatment, and containment of the Ebola virus,” the WHO Rep said. She promised WHO commitment to working with the Nimba County Health Team to staff the holding center with trained personnel and the provision of adequate protective gears. “We do not want to lose any more health worker in this fight against the Ebola virus,” she concluded.