Daily Media Summary, 08-05-2014

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia



News of the United Nations Development Program’s donation of four vehicles to assist in the fight against the Ebola virus, the United States plan to send 50 Disease-Control Specialists to West Africa to help in the fight and ActionAid Liberia’s US three million dollars package to enhance and protect the rights of women, girls and others discriminated against in four counties in Liberia are among stories dominating our today’s summary of the local dailies.




UNDP Donates Four Vehicles…To Fight Ebola

The Newsnewspaper reports that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has donated four vehicles to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Internal Affairs in support of the ongoing fight against the deadly Ebola virus. UNDP Resident Representative to Liberia, Antonio Vigilante said the vehicles were previously procured for the government’s decentralization program. Speaking Monday at the signing ceremony, Mr. Vigilante said due to the Ebola emergency situation, UNDP reached a decision to divert the vehicles in support of the fight against Ebola. He hopes that the vehicles would be used by the government for burial, contact tracing and other efforts of the government and partners in the Ebola fight. The UNDP boss said his institution will reorder different vehicles for the Ministry of Internal Affairs for its decentralization program.


Related Captions: UNDP Donates Vehicles for Suit-Wearing Liberians Officials in Wake of Mass Graves, Ebola Tragedy(FrontPage Africa), UNDP Donates 4 Vehicles To Ebola Fight(Daily Observer)


U.S. Sending 50 Experts to West Africa to Fight ‘Most Complex’ Ebola Outbreak

The FrontPage Africa reports that the United States has plan to send at least 50 disease-control specialists to West Africa to help find, respond to and stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which has claimed more than 700 lives. The Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tom Frieden, told US broadcast interviewers Sunday that while the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is currently out of control, it can be contained. "What we're doing now at CDC is surging our response. We are going to put at least 50 public health experts in the three countries in the next 30 days because, actually, we do know how to stop Ebola. It's old-fashioned, plain-and-simple public health; find the patients, make sure they get treated, find their contacts, track them, educate people, do infection-control in hospitals. You do those things, and you have to do them really well, and Ebola goes away," said Frieden.  


Related Caption: U.S.’Surging’ 50 Disease Control Specialists to West Africa(FOCUS)


After Attending To Patrick Sawyer, Nigeria Ebola Doctor Contracts Ebola

The INSIGHT newspaper writes that a doctor in the Nigerian city of Lagos who treated a Liberian victim of Ebola has contracted the virus, the second confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa's largest city, authorities said. Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu, who confirmed the positive test, said on Monday that 70 other people believed to have come into contact with the Liberian were being monitored, with eight placed in quarantine including three who were "symptomatic." The confirmed case "is one of the doctors who attended to the Liberian Ebola patient who died," Chukwu told journalists. A quarantine unit has been set up in Lagos. Patrick Sawyer, who worked for Liberia's Finance Ministry, contracted the virus from his sister before travelling to Lagos for a meeting of West African officials. He landed in Lagos on July 20 from Monrovia after switching planes in Togo's capital Lome. He was visibly sick upon arrival and taken directly to the First Consultants hospital in the up market Lagos neighborhood of Ikoyi. He died in quarantine on July 25. The hospital was closed indefinitely last week. The second confirmed case in Nigeria is the latest in the deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak, which has infected 1,440 people and left 826 dead. The other cases are spread across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.


Related Captions: Doctor Who Treated Patrick Sawyer Infected With Ebola; Two Others Showing Symptoms in Nigeria As Virus Crosses Border(FrontPage Africa), Nigeria Confirm Doctor Has Ebola(New Democrat), Nigeria Records Secord Case(The New Dawn), Nigeria Doctor Infested With Ebola As West Africa Scrambles(The New Republic), Nigerian Doctor Contracts Ebola From Patrick Sawyer(FOCUS)


 “We Are Approaching The Ebola Issue As A War,” BIN Boss Declares

Immigration Commissioner and Deputy Attorney General, Lemuel Reeves, has said the Government of Liberia is approaching the issue of Ebola “as a war”. He made the declaration at the Bo Waterside border post when he led a team from the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) on an inspection tour of the border in keeping with the mandate of the National Task Force on Ebola chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the INPROFILE DAILY reports.

Related Captions: “We Are Approaching the Ebola Issue As A War”… BIN Boss Declares(Heritage), Over 100 Border Points Vulnerable-Says BIN Boss(The New Republic)


ActionAid Raises US$3m For Women Rights

ActionAid Liberia says it has raised US$3 million to enhance and protect the rights of women, girls and others being discriminated against in four of Liberia’s 15 counties. According to the ActionAid Project Officer in Bong County, Maryeadee Tetee Pennoh, the five-year project with support from the Embassy of Sweden targets 5000 persons living in 45 communities in Grand Gedeh, Bong, Gbarpolu and Montserrado Counties, the In Profile Daily writes.

Related Caption: ActionAid Raises US$3M For Women Rights(Heritage)



17 Survive from Ebola - MOH

17 persons have survived the deadly Ebola virus disease so far in the country, authorities at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare here have disclosed. The 17, includes Dr. Melvin Korkor who was tested positive weeks ago from the Christian run Phebe Hospital in the Central Liberian Town of Gbarnga, Bong County. Assistant Minister for Preventive Services Tolbert Nyenswah told reporters on Monday during a joint news conference that though the virus has taken away the lives of doctors and nurses committed to saving the lives of others, current preventive measures instituted a few days ago were now helping to save many lives in various communities. The news conference was held jointly after a local organization; Feed the Future, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Launched an appeal to identify with family members victimized by the deadly Ebola virus in the country, New Dawn reports.

Three Counties Slate Ebola Meeting

A consultative meeting grouping the western counties of Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi to plan strategies to contain the deadly Ebola virus takes place Wednesday in Sinje District, Grand Cape Mount County. According to the Liberia News Agency, the Legislative Caucuses and heads of companies operating in these counties will be encouraged to participate in the meeting to pull all stakeholders on board. In an interview with the Liberia News Agency at the weekend, the head of Grand Cape Mount County Health Team, Dr. Julius Garbo, said there is a dire need for citizens of the three counties to formulate plans that will promote Ebola prevention awareness in an effort to save lives, INSIGHT reports.


Ebola Surveillance Takes Effect At Borders

Liberian Immigration authorities have ordered officers at the three main border points to keep active surveillance, and test people moving in and out of the country as preventive measures against the Ebola spread. The spokesperson at the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Mr. Abraham Dolley told UNMIL Radio on Monday, 4th August that the presence of Immigration Officers has been strengthened to “tailor” along the border lines here.
The increased border point surveillance comes days after the four Mano River Union (MRU) Countries- Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea, signed a communique on August 1 to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicenter of the outbreak, New Dawn reveals.

In Margibi: 16 Poisoned to Death

16 persons, believed to be members of a local church in Dolo's Town near Harbel in Margibi County were reported to have died days after they ate food prepared for them when they went to sympathize with a bereaved member. The Pastor of the Holy Church of Christ in the township Reverend Brown Kanka, said the food was prepared by some members of the church while visiting with a council member of their church, Mardea Moyeah, who had lost her daughter. The church members had gone to sympathize with their council member for three days. Rev. Kanka said one of the women who cooked the food, died along with her daughter after eating a portion of the food prepared at the assistant pastor’s residence. The church leader, who also ate food prepared at the residence for two days, was absence on the third day and therefore could not partake of the last dish.. According to him, he did not know who may have poisoned the food, adding that the situation had presented a very bad image on his ministry. “Some people in this area are throwing talks, saying that if anyone wants to die, they should visit the Holy Church of Christ because people are dying from the church,” he said. The reverend made it clear that such a situation has never happened at his church, while accusing some government officials in the area of intervening out of fear of the Ebola virus. His assistant Pastor Victor Gbardea confirmed the food was prepared at his house, but he also did not partake in it on the last day. He said his two sons- ages 16 and 19, ate and died also, stressing that it took four days before his children started acting strange and couldn’t swallow or even drink. Mardea Moyeah, the church member whose daughter funeral they were attending, said her daughter did not die of Ebola, but in child birth. Mardea said she did not have appetite to eat on the said day because of her daughter's grieve, further noting that her son’s wife (name not disclosed) also died along with 15 others in the township. Former Margibi County Superintendent Levi   Piah also lost his sister from the same food incident because she had gone to sympathize with Mardea at the same church. Piah noted that when his sister was taken to the hospital, medical authorities discounted Ebola as the cause of death. He, however, assured that the case would be pursued in order to get justice for the many lives that were lost in the area. Meanwhile, the Margibi County police authorities have begun investigation into the incident, New Dawn reports.

Experts arrive to burn Ebola bodies

Information Minister Lewis G. Brown has announced that government is now set to cremate all bodies of dead Ebola victims – a practice he said will continue until Ebola is eradicated from Liberia. Min. Brown disclosed that there is currently a team of experts in the country to carry out the cremation of bodies. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her last nationwide address on the state of Ebola urged the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and relevant agencies to consider cremation as a means of avoiding tampering with Ebola infected bodies and avoiding the contamination of water sources. However, Assistant Minister of Health for Preventive Services, Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, told a media gathering at the Ministry of Information that there was no need for cremation, especially so that it is not a part of Liberian culture. He said it is not scientific proven that burying in the soil cause the contamination of water source and noted that it is the best way to inter bodies. Ebola infected corpses were buried by the Ministry of Health in isolated areas which are not made known to the bereaved families. The burial of Ebola victims by the ministry had often met strong resistance by members of the bereaved families. This prompted the assigning of police to various health facilities in order to enable health workers carryout their jobs smoothly. However, the Government of Liberia in its quest to eradicate the viral disease from Liberia has resolved to cremate all dead Ebola victims so as to avoid reoccurrence of the epidemic. Many Liberians have through the media called on the government to consider designating a protected site for the burying of all dead Ebola victims instead of burying them in ‘secret areas’ or cremating the bodies, INSIGHT says.


Over200 Fake Driving Licenses Uncovered -Police Launch Investigation

According to the New Republic, the police have launched an investigation into the discovery of more than 200 fake driver licenses, Deputy Police Inspector General for Operations, Col. Abraham Kromah, has disclosed. According Col. Kromah, the illegal licenses that are currently in possession of the Traffic Section of the Police were arrested from drivers in the country. Col. Kromah, in an interview with this daily said investigation was ongoing, but did not say when the investigation would be concluded and what the penalty for the culprits (drivers). He said the licenses in question were arrested few months ago, but did not say as to whether the suspected owners were also arrested.


Liberia’s Progress Threatened -Says Vice President Boakai

Vice President Joseph Boakai says the plague of the Ebola virus in Liberia has the potential to erase the economic progress the nation has made since the end of the civil war in 2003. “This is an emergency that has superimposed upon our resources and we need to deal with it immediately,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Washington. “This is going to challenge all of our development agenda.” Mr. Boakai is attending the US-Africa Summit convened by President Barack Obama. The worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea has killed more than 800 people and threatens to spiral out of control. That’s straining the resources in Liberia, which has an economy of about $2 billion and relies on World Bank’s aid and grants to fund about a third of its budget. “We need for people to understand this is an emergency, just as something like a flood or any other disaster,” said Boakai, who is representing President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the U.S.-Africa summit this week, reports the New Republic newspaper.


Philanthropist Distributes Ebola Preventives

The Executor of the Testate Estate of the late business tycoon Milad Hage over the weekend distributed assorted preventive materials to combat the deadly Ebola virus. The items distributed included faucet buckets, cartoons of clorox, water guard and Dettol sanitizers at the Logan Town general market, police depots, central Monrovia and parts adjacent, business centers and passersby benefitted from the donation. Speaking at the Logan Town general market among the multitude of beneficiaries, Mr. Bassam Boakai Jawhrary said the fight against the deadly Ebola virus is a national emergency that requires collective efforts, the FOCUS reports.

Cremation Will Be In Marshall

Government has identified Marshall along the Roberts International Airport (RIA) as the site for the cremation of dead bodies as a result of the deadly Ebola virus. “This situation has gotten worse. We need our concerted effort, this country needs everybody right now,” Information Minister Lewis Brown announced Monday. Information Minister told this paper that the cremation will be done under the Public Health of the country, New Democrat reports.

MOF, CODRA & LCSP Launch Social Accountability Project For Bong & Nimba Counties

The Community Development and Research Agency, (CODRA) and the Liberian Children Schooling Project (LCSP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, (MOF) on Thursday July 31, 2014 launched a six month Social Accountability Project in Bong and Nimba Counties. CODRA Executive Director Lasanah Dukuly speaking at the launch said in bong County the project will cover Jorqulleh 1&2, Suakoko, and Kpaii Districts and the Nimba County Districts included Garr Bain, Sanniquellie Mahn and Yarwein Mehnsonnoh. Mr. Dukuly said the Community Development and Research Agency will partner with eight women and youths groups in the two counties to implement the project in the seven (7) districts, The Analyst reports.