About 25 people have been placed in quarantine in the Monrovia neighborhood of Paynesville, which authorities affirm has the propensity of throwing the fight against Ebola backwards.
The government of Liberia has set the end of February to end the Ebola scourge as there is a significant drop in cases across the country.
The 25 people, including children, are the contacts of a woman—Lorpu Flomo—who died Sunday, January 18, 2015 of Ebola.
“Today, we are going to one of our communities called Omega where we identified a case last week—a lady by the name of Lorpu Flomo who has unfortunately passed away from the Ebola Virus Disease—and we have 25 people within the community that have been quarantined, who had come in contact with her,” said Paynesville mayor, Cyvette Gibson who briefed newsmen prior to a field visit to the quarantined homes on Wednesday to supply food and water.
The Paynesville City Corporation is collaborating with the UNICEF and UNMEER as well as WFP on the “Operation Stop Ebola”.
UNMEER has contributed US$283,800; while the UNICEF has supported mainly social mobilization, contact tracing and the distribution of homecare kits and hygienic materials to communities.
Gibson said the situation was huge scare as schools are to open on February 2 and the government’s target to end the disease.
“As you know schools are about to open and we are trying our best to reach zero cases but what is important to us is to find out how she even transmitted this disease—who did it come from, who is the contact and who is the contact that we don’t know of that is still running around somewhere.
Mayor Gibson stressed that there was a need for security presence in the Omega community where the homes are being quarantined to avoid further contacts with the quarantined people.
“We need to make sure people stay within their homes, make sure they have enough food and water and the community is aware of what’s taking place.
“I have been told that we have some doctors that come in at night and have given medication to people that are quarantined so we need to who these doctors are, why they are coming in and how are they even having access to the premises. We need to find out who these people are and if we need to get national security involved then that is what necessary to avoid a greater number being infected by a few.”
A development communication specialist with UNICEF, Aldolphus Scott said the situation at Omega was a setback to the efforts to end Ebola in Liberia.
“It is a worry for all of us working in this response. Hearing cases in communities is not a good message; however, we are working very hard.
“We are working closely with the government to provide support to the communities in having these communities take the lead ensuring that we go down to the grassroots because this is where we are going to stop the spread of this disease,” Scott said while visiting the quarantined homes alongside Mayor Gibson and representatives of UNMEER.
As for the widower of the woman who died of Ebola, James Flomo, the wellbeing of his family—three children and his aged father. Their temperatures were tested by the Paynesville Ebola taskforce.
We don’t have sufficient food, except for the little the community people bring here, which we don’t have ingredients for. You find some okra and potato greens and cook dried rice. I told the people (mayor and partners) that we don’t have enough to eat.
Flomo spoke to reporters as part of the tour on Wednesday with his one-year-8-month-old daughter on his lap. He has been sick of a swollen foot as the result of an accident. He said called on the government to assist him and his family.
“I am not alright. My leg is hurting me so I am calling on the government to assist me and my family.