Mr. Nyenswah, who is also Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, told a local radio talk show hosted on Hot FM Thursday morning, February 5, 2015, that Lofa has about 18 contacts just from a single case from Monrovia.
“We are praying that nobody will get sick and we will get confirmed case from Lofa; Lofa is threatened right now because of that case; Margibi is also threatened because somebody left from Monrovia and went in a village in Margibi and died there. And that person was positive,” he said yesterday.
Nyenswah lamented that suspected contacts left in Lofa and Margibi Counties by the two Ebola carriers from Monrovia “are the trouble” health workers are having right now and that is getting it difficult for Liberia to get to zero case.
He said it was expected that by January and February 2015, Liberia should have had zero case of Ebola; but noted that regrettably, even at night, Ebola response teams have to be chasing Ebola contacts, who are running away.
He observed that when contact tracers allow Ebola contacts to stay home on two to 21 days observation for signs and symptoms of the disease, they would jump up and flee elsewhere upon experiencing fever and rising temperature, instead of reporting to the Ebola Treatment Unit or ETU.
“I had to call in Lofa to get one of the contacts that went into Lofa in a town and got sick. The ambulance had to bring them back to Monrovia; we got them in the ETU and now Lofa is having up to 14 to 18 contacts just from that one case that left Monrovia.”
As it stands, Minister Nyensuah suggested that Liberia now has the “window of opportunity now to get to zero” Ebola case throughout the country, as he warned that the country must not miss that opportunity.
“It is now, if that window closes, we will be very, very much angry with ourselves. So as a country, that window of opportunity is today that our brothers and sisters… our family members that are affected do the generous thing,” he urged.
The report by the Assistant Minister comes at the time the World Health Organization or WHO is reporting renewed infections in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three highly affected countries.
By Winston W. Parley