…and the street traders “flogging” factor of Government’s anti-Coronavirus transmission prevention enforcement…and disabled citizens’ pains from lack.
By Samuel G. Dweh—development journalist—+231- email@example.com)
This article hints at President George Manneh Weah’s personal security risk, and ends with recommendations (solution methods).
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
The definition given by the World Health Organization (WHO)—the global body made up of some of the World’s best epidemiologists or medical educators—on its website (I visited at 2:09pm on Sunday, March 29, 2020 in my Country—Liberia) is relatively insufficient. The WHO’s definition: “Coronavirus is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered virus” This definition does not sufficiently “educate” me—a ‘less-informed, but-yearning-to-know’ person—looking up to the “medically omniscient” WHO for “detailed” meaning (definition) I expected WHO to tell me its “difference” from other virus (contagious or communicable) What if I have an “ordinary Flu”, which causes me to “continuously sneeze”? My ‘political opponent’ would ‘politicize’ my “ordinary sneeze” by calling one of the many ‘less informed national health officers’ on me, who may have me ‘quarantined’ at the Government’s ‘Observatory center’ (getting congested by the day) that currently functions solely on foreign Governments’ financial support. A Country that has abundant natural resources, but has been absolutely relying on other Countries for alms since the day of total political sovereignty in 1847!
However, the WHO, on its website (during my visit) sufficiently educated me only on ‘treatment advice’: “The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it is spread. Protect yourself and others from the infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.” NOTE: WHO’s photo for this ‘precautionary message’ (during my visit at the website on March 29, 2020) is a (Chinese) woman, both eyes closed, holding a white cloth to her nose (seems like she is sneezing)
Where I got “complete definition” from (on the same day I visited WHO’s website) was in an article titled, “What is coronavirus, how did it start and how big it could get”? by Sarah Newey and Anne Gulland of the Telegraph newspaper (edition: March 29, 2020) of the United Kingdom. In the first and second paragraph, the writers state: “Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animal. Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause cold-like symptoms. Covid-19 is closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (sars) which swept around the world in 2002 and 2003”
WHERE IT CAME FROM
Coronavirus ‘originated’ from Wuhan, a Province in the People’s Republic of China, according to global news outlet ALJAZEERA in its updates on the disease published on March 27, 2020.
“On December 31 last year (the media outlet was referring to 2019), China alerted WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million in the central Hubei Province. The virus was unknown,” reported ALJAZEERA.
ALJAZEERA continued with its published update: “On January 11, China announced its first death from the virus, a 61-year-old man who had purchased goods from the seafood market. Treatment did not improve his symptom after he was admitted to hospital and died of heart failure on January 9.”
Between January 9 and March coronavirus as sniffed life out of a total of 3, 245 Chinese citizens in their Country (stated in the ALJAZEERA’s updates), with hundreds of Chinese citizens infected, but alive. This number came after the World Health Organization “declared coronavirus a global emergency” on 30th of January, continues ALJAZEERA in its update.
The Telegraph’s two writers also threw much journalistic light on the coronavirus-evolution situation in Wuhan. Under the article’s subtopic, titled “How did the outbreak start?” The writers revealed: “The source of the coronavirus is believed to be a “wet market” in Wuhan, which sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds…Such markets pose a heightened risk of animals jumping from animals to humans because hygiene standards are difficult to maintain if live animals are kept and butchered on site. Typically, they are also densely packed allowing disease to spread from species to species…The animal source of covid-19 has not yet been identified, but the original hosts is thought to be bats. Bats were not sold at the Wuhan market but may have infected chickens or other animals sold there…Bats are hosts to a wide range of zoonotic viruses including Ebola, HIV and rabies.”
The virus has spread to many other ‘big Countries’—including medically superior United States of America—and has snatched at least 99 lives in each of these Counties. Its tolls in ‘small Countries’ (Third-World Nations) with ‘weaker health system’, near to the ‘Country of origin’ is slightly higher than that in the First-World Countries.
THE ‘THING’ ENTERED LIBERIA!
Liberia’s first case of the presence of the Coronavirus in the Country was known through the national health authority’s report on a Government official—Dr. Nathaniel Blama—Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in March, 2020.
However, the Ministry of Health hasn’t adequately informed Liberians about “what” causes coronavirus. All the Ministry has ‘sufficiently done’ is teach the citizenry ‘how’ to prevent it—similar to what the World Health Organization “was effectively able to do”—teach the ‘how’, not the ‘what’ (reference to WHO’s coronavirus-related ‘education’ on its website quoted earlier in this article)
The Head of State, George Manneh Weah, has slapped an ‘indefinite suspension’ on Dr. Blama as E.D. of EPA—mainly for his “lack of cooperation” with the national health authority on “restricting” him to prevent his spread of the virus to his relatives and other people who touched him or inhaled the air that came from his mouth or nostrils through yawning or sneezing.
But the Liberian Government, speaking through its official spokesperson on the Coronavirus, Dr. Francis Kateh, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, said the now-suspended EPA boss had “touched” 126 persons, and that 21 persons out of the 126 are at “high risk”
LIBERIANS’ POLITICIZATION OF THE CORONAVIRUS
Politicization, as used here, means ‘extremity’ in one’s words or action. In present-day Liberia, specifically in the period beginning from end of civil war (2003), majority of Liberians (put that at 95%) “exaggerate”, “exacerbate”, or “magnify” what they do or how they act. The underlining intent of this is to appeal to another person’s emotion to give (humanitarianism) or to excite another person to prevent (obstructionism) The former (emotional appeal) is often used by majority of Liberians during begging time, which is energized by Liberia’s “begging syndrome” that has now become a ‘national economic culture’ and is as old as the Country’s ‘historical foundation. (Since America dumped its freed African slaves on the “Grain Coast” in the 1880s).
Another by-product of the politicization is “doubt” in many Liberians on the real-ness of the virus as stated by the World Health Organization to the global community. Many Liberians strongly think the coronavirus is “man-made”—manufactured by one country to economically and militarily weaken other countries into subservience.
FINANCIALIZATION OF THE CORONAVIRUS
Some observers claim the George Weah’s government is “exacerbating” the coronavirus situation in Liberia and that this ‘over-blow’ is aimed at creating a “national emergency” that would swing international financial donors’ hearts toward his administration. The Weah-led Government’s “international lobbyists” (not Liberians) are behind this over-blow—just to ‘represent’ Liberia to the International Donor community and get their ‘fatter share’ of the ‘financial help’ sent for Liberia.
The ‘national panic’ seen in market places and the swell in the number of persons being held at Government’s quarantine centers are sufficient ‘proofs’ expected by the financial donors to start raining international trade currencies to the Weah’s government to fight the virus. The observers’ presumption comes from the Weah-led administration’s ninety-percent dependent on foreign governments for the provision of its citizens’ needs. The remaining 10% is the Government’s personal generation but from for taxes collected from private business persons.
On containment of the coronavirus in Liberia, politicization and financialization are at play by Liberians. The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (headed by global football icon George Manneh Weah) are using the “emotional appeal” technique—to lure international financial support—by applying harsher methods to contain the coronavirus. Some of the methods are: shutting down of religious worship centers (that should be conducting intercessory service on behalf of the Government to God to flush out the coronavirus out of Liberia), pushing street traders off the street and destroying their wares’ stands (tables) and closure of drinks sale centers.
To enforce the former method, the Government has armed Task Force members with batons and herds man’s whip (rattan), which they are using on the skin of ‘stubborn traders’ (persons who show some hesitation on vacating the spot). For Monrovia, Liberia’s current leading economic hub, President George Weah is enforcing the anti-coronavirus transmission ‘law’ through the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) headed by Mr. Jefferson Tamba Koijee (Mayor of Monrovia), who is the current National Chairman of the “Youth League” of the Congress of Democratic Change (CDC)—George Weah’s own political party—and holding same position in the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC)—a merger of four different political parties including that of the Vice President H.E. Jewel Howard-Taylor, National Patriotic Party (NPP) The common mindset of CDC’s “Youth League” is “militarized”—often use of thuggery, hooliganism, hostility in ‘defense’ of the party (against an out-side political opponent) or ‘disciplining of’ a member. Mr. Koijee, flatteringly referred to as “Lord Mayor of Monrovia” by many, has absorbed these “thugs” into the fold of the “Monrovia City Police”—the MCC’s ‘enforcement arm’ for traders in the City.
Many of them become “charged” with hard drinks and marijuana before going on their “law enforcement” spree (duties) The manner they throw non-compliant traders’ things onto the MCC’s Task Force Pickup and ‘touch’ affronting traders (whose wares had been seized) reveal their ‘charged status’. The President’s order has been extended to closure of even neighborhood’s Tea Shops (main ‘breakfast’ centers for majority of present-day Liberia’s poor mid-night workers) on Sunday.
This ‘law’ is mostly implemented with brutal force wherein members of the Task Force often barge into ‘open Shops’, create a ‘noisy scene’ on the shop owner about the ‘breach’ of the ‘Presidential law’—just to intimidate and extort money from the shop owner. The “money” collected from the law-breachers—to avoid being dragged to Court—do not reach the revenue box of the Municipal Government. It is shared among members of the Task Force and its ‘Commander’ relaxing at another place. On Sunday, you’ll see Task Force members (in various Counties) marching around with herds man’s whip (ratten) in each person’s hand to enforce the President’s order, some of them in dirty or faded uniform, sweating profusely, mouths smelling foul from drunk liquor, or eyes redden from smoked ‘grass’.
One notable feature of the CDC’s ‘Youth League’ is regular ‘military drill’ in the Party’s Headquarter currently located in Monrovia, opposite the Head Office of Liberia’s first and indigenous telecommunication company named Lonestar Cell MTN. One of ‘militant drill’ I witnessed was ‘spiced’ with profanity—the “f” word—against a non-members who were passing near the spot-marching and singing group. Where the Youth League does its ‘military exercise’ (drill) is the leading spot of sale of low-class liquors—popularly called “gana-gana” (Liberian parlance) and marijuana in the party’s Headquarters.
In recent time, after the victory of George Manneh Weah in Liberia’s presidential election, the CDC’s “Youth League” has taken the mindset of “terrorist group” against many of its members (who had put their lives on the line for presidential candidate Senator George Manneh Weah)—gang-flogging them (and deforming the body parts of some) for ‘openly complaining’ about partiality by the party’s hierarchy or the leadership of the “Youth League” or for revealing some “sensitive information” about the “Youth League” to “outsiders”
On the Government’s removal of traders from their selling spots and destroying their tables, single-mother traders (some of them with disabilities—one hand, leg, or eye damaged by Paralysis) are the worst-hit by the George Weah-led government’s “harsher” coronavirus-transmission-prevention-method. Each mother’s goods have been seized or destroyed, her market table(s) destroyed, and her stress level has ascended further on imagination of the “loss” and the Herculean challenge of creating another source of livelihoods for herself and her father-less child or children. Before the ‘eviction’, many of these women took one or two of their children with them to the ‘hustle’ ground. They didn’t have older children or find a ‘kind neighbor’ at home to take care of the child or one of the children, until mama return from the ‘hustle’.
Disabled people—visually impaired (blind), physically challenged (mobile on crutches or wheelchair), etc.—are the second group of “worst-hit” (beside single mothers) by the George Weah-led actions against “gathering”. The Government doesn’t have a “working welfare package” for the Country’s Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) whose daily feeding and other basic needs of life come from begging at market areas, religious centers, charity homes, supermarkets, among other public places, the Government had ordered shut down to prevent spread of the virus.
These persons, of Liberia’s “most vulnerable group”, had collectively spoken out on their plight to the George Weah’s Government and the International Community through the National Union of Organizations for the Disabled (NUOD) at NUOD’s Press Conference held on March 25, 2020 at NUOD’s Head Office on 19th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia. NUOD is an independent advocacy group of Persons with Disabilities in Liberia, educating other members of the public on the rights of disabled people in line with UNCRPD, and regularly engaging the National Government to support we-respect-disabled-persons’-rights talks at public functions with implementation by creation of welfare programs and provision of “easy mobility aid” (Ram) at all public buildings. Ram is absent in many Government’s buildings across Liberia’s 15 Counties. On President Weah’s order of at least-six-foot -space between two persons gathered anywhere, NUOD’s president, Ms. Naomi B. Harris, who became disabled at age two (paralysis of left leg) said: “Others may not be able to practice social distancing because they do not know or see their physical environment.”
The George Weah’s Government is arguing that it is clearing the streets (in the Country’s capital city) to also compel traders to move into “public market halls”—most of the built his predecessor. On this ‘excuse’, many observers would ask: “Where is the vacant space in these public market buildings, which are already over-full with earlier entrants, for those being raided from the street?” Many of the vacant spaces available in each of these “Government’s market buildings”—in few months following their construction—had been turned into “private Schools” by some powerful persons in the leadership of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), running the place for the Government, or by private business persons.
There’s leaked secret (still a rumor) from the Presidency about President Weah’s plan to impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the Nation soon to curb transmission of the coronavirus by night-time ‘roamers’. Skeptics describe this “method” as another “exaggeration” scheme by the Head of State to quickly grab the International financial donor community to begin raining in the “Coronavirus-combat money” much of which will certainly enter private accounts of top government officials.
The pursue of traders will certainly create panic in the being-chased, which would spark up a ‘sleeping’ Cold (Flu) in some of the ‘chased’ to qualify them for quarantine—the situation that will attract ‘observatory funding’ to the George Weah government from a Western government or an International financial body looking out for ‘epidemic’ in any part of the World.
Much part of the opposition bloc to the ruling CDC is applying the “obstructionist tactic”—inciting other citizens to ‘disbelieve’ the Government’s message on the ‘reality’ of Coronavirus. The bloc’s ‘success bit’ hinges on the ‘confusion’ in the International Community on the actual “nature” of the Coronavirus with some characteristics of pioneer “sicknesses” (Flu, jaundice, Fever, etc.) The shallow knowledge of Liberia’s national health authority on the “actual nature” of the Coronavirus has facilitated the success of “brainwashing” of these anti-Government forces on this infectious global pandemic.
MOVEMENT-RELATED ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS
To prevent transmission of the coronavirus on public transport, the Government has given order for “only one person at the front seat” (for all vehicles), “only two persons to a seat” (for tricycles—called ‘Keke’ in Liberia), and “only three persons to a seat” (for Taxis and buses) Only the motorbike isn’t in the Government’s rule for “passenger tonnage”, even though majority of the operators allow “three passengers” or more—a situation that could easily cause transmission.
These restrictions are being enforced (sometime with thuggery by members of the Government’s Task Force) at a time there’s gas shortage in the Country (between February and end of March, 2020 long queues of vehicles and drivers have been visible at all Filling stations, and the National Legislature has summoned heads of the Ministry of Commerce Liberia Petroluem Refinery Corporation to clear the ‘ conflicting information’ from each Government’s entity on scarcity of gas/petrol in the Country)
The gas shortage is pushing commercial vehicle operators to increase their transport fares by more that hundred percent—to recoup the money they had lost to ‘black market’ traders (working for some persons working at the Filling stations) and to traffic police officers (regularly extorting money) This fare hike is preventing movement of many people from going to their work places—far from their homes. This circumstantial “work leave” is causing extreme hunger in these people and their relatives who solely depend on them for “daily feeding”. And the hunger is engendering ‘juvenile prostitution’—commercial sex involving under-15 girls to get money for personal needs and to contribute to feeding of their families.
PRESIDENT GEORGE WEAH’S PERSONAL SECURITY RISK OF “HARSHER METHODS” AGAINST LIBERIANS TO CONTAIN CORONAVIRUS
The Weah-led Government’s demolition of low-income-earning traders’ selling tables (after the Government’s Task Force had driven the traders off) is considered by most of the citizenry as the administration’s cruelest action in the entire national fight against coronavirus. This action comes when more than 80% of Liberians (including many of the victimized traders) are already pauperized by the Weah-led administration’s inability to create sources of employment for the Country’s teeming jobless people and during the period of rampant corruption by the Government. Examples of the official rampant corruption: mysterious disappearance of sixteen billion Dollars (Liberian currency) from the Nation’s premiere seaport (2019), can’t-account-for USD25M the government said it pumped into the system to stabilize the Liberian Dollar against the US Dollar (2019), the government’s ‘un authorized slice’ in Liberia’s “emergency reserve fund” from the World Bank and Liberia’s foreign Diplomatic Community who had given the Weah’s government a “don’t touch now” order (2019) Information Minister called the tempering-with “deep hole, cover hole” during one of his interviews with the media on the issue.
On economic sustainability, Liberia imports ninety-nine percent of non-supermarket foods from other African countries through land border points with sister-countries: Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. But the Government of the former footballer has closed each Liberia’s sides of these entry points. This closure has further intensified hunger in the nation, especially for member of the Country’s low economic class who can’t find the price of supermarket foods (unlike Head of State George Weah and other government officials) and who are not “politically connected” to the Presidency or the Legislature (two ever-richer branches of Government) receiving ‘coronavirus-combating funding’ from foreign governments and from members of foreign business community in Liberia.
Further impoverishment (pauperization) of ordinary Liberians by President Weah-endorsed destruction of sources of livelihoods, through the Anti-Coronavirus Task Force or sustained closure of foods entry points could push a band from the crowd of “hungry and hopeless” ordinary citizens to assassinate the once “perceived economic savior of the people” (prior to his ascendancy to the Presidency). The global football icon-turned politician vividly remembers what a ‘Junior Army Officer’, named Samuel Kanyon Doe, did to President William R. Tolbert on April 12, 1980, one year after Tolbert’s government increased the price of a 100-pound bag of Liberia’s staple food (rice) from US$ 22 to USD26 through the Florence Chenoweth-led Ministry of Commerce. This increment plunged the poor people deeper into poverty, for most families couldn’t afford the US$4.00 increment.
Some political observers think an assassin’s plan will be easily hatched mostly on the narrowness of the current route the President often passes to go to or return from official work and the situation of the current Presidential office (Ministry of Foreign Affairs building) located few yards from the main public road. Pre-civil war Presidents used Liberia’s main Presidential building—Executive Mansion—which is well protected: near the Nation’s main Army base (called Barclay Training Center, BTC) later turned to the “Ministry of National Defense” by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in months following her take-over of the Nation’s most exalted Seat.
The attempted coup d’état against President Samuel Kanyon Doe—who had been nationally worshipped for pulling Liberia from the grip of ‘foreign dominion’ through the eternally ruling ‘Americo-Liberian’ political class—on April 12, 1985 was partially due to his Government’s “political actions” that caused the economic suffering of many ordinary citizens.
RUMOR OF ‘NEW VACCINES’ FOR THE CORONAVIRUS IN LIBERIA
In the confusion about national doubt on the actual “medical nature” of the novel coronavirus—compared to its relative ‘resemblance’ with age-old sicknesses (Flu, etc.)—and ‘how’ it can be driven, many Liberians are holding tight to a perception that a Western vaccine-manufacturing syndicate is financially supporting plan for ‘elongation’ of presence of the coronavirus in Liberia, to manufacture a ‘new vaccine’ to be ‘experimented’ in the Country after the Liberian Government or the WHO declared: “Coronavirus gone from Liberia!”
On the day I was sending this article for publication (Monday, April 5, 2020), there was no official report about a death from the coronavirus in Liberia.
LIKE WAS DONE WITH EBOLA
One of several quarantine centers for Ebola victims in Liberia in 2014. Photo credit: Google.com
Ebola entered in March, 2014 (Government’s reported cited) during the presidency of Madam Ellen Johnson. Ebola was President Sirleaf’s paramount source of “national health headache” as Coronavirus (is) to President George Manneh Weah—successor of Madam Sirleaf.
Before the World Health Organization declared Liberia “free of Ebola” on May 9, 2015, the virus had sniffed life out of more than 9,000 Liberians.
Many of these deaths were due to hunger (many communities were quarantined by government over months, with no access to sources of food), pioneer diseases (that couldn’t be treated in time on fear of being relocated to an Ebola Quarantine Center to spend compulsory 21-day monitoring period), and panic/cardiovascular attack (caused by neighbors’ stigmatization or Government’s forced relocation to Ebola Observation/Treatment Center)
This is also similar to the Coronavirus’ period in Liberia.
What made the Ebola’s period, on gas/petrol, different from the Coronavirus’ is, during the former period (Ebola’s) there was always enough gas in the Liberia. What made it possible was: Countries that were supplying the gas to Liberia were not under “Ebola’s hostage”. Coronavirus has “gripped” Nigeria, Ghana, Saudi Arabia—on the list of countries Liberia relies on to power its automobile sector.
POLITICIZATION OF NATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST THE EBOLA VIRUS
Majority of those outside of Government held tight to the view that Ebola was “manufactured” by one Western Country and ‘exported’ to natural resources-rich but economically weak Countries (including Liberia) to reduce their “man-power” (including Military), so that the ‘Ebola manufacturer’ will encounter no ‘resistance’ when plundering the natural resources “desperately needed” by this Western Nation. The political bloc succeeded on its “brainwashing” on this logic: A virus that is spread by bat (as Western scientists claim) cannot spare countries (Angola, Tanzania, etc.) near or between DR. Congo (located in Southern Africa—where Ebola was first discovered in 1976) and to ‘drop’ on Sierra Leone (located in Western Africa) that later ‘shared it’ to Liberia. Another ‘factor of doubt’ came from the ‘spare’ (by Ebola) of some persons who had “touched” corpses of “Ebola’s victims”. The third factor of disbelieve was with persons whose skin regularly connected with “wet skins” (another transmission means of the Ebola virus—according Western scientists) of passengers in crowded public vehicles or during sexual intercourse.
FINANCIALIZATION OF NATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST THE EBOLA VIRUS
During the scourge of the Ebola virus in Liberia, a large number of Liberians held to the perception of the Ellen Sirleaf-led Government’s “exaggeration” of the Ebola viru’s devastation on Liberia just to squeeze money out of ‘empathetic’ International Community. Most of these skeptics are still carrying this belief today—six years after Ebola ‘released’ Liberia from its fang.
This perception was being inflamed by the President’s continuous plead to foreign governments and international donors. Ambulances’ 24-hour movements, mass burials of ‘Ebola’s victims’, and presence of abandoned corpses (believed to be victims of Ebola) between houses and along roads greatly facilitated President’s ‘national emergency’ story to those to help her Government. In one of the President’s SOS appeals, she mentioned even “detergent” (powder soap)—common thing Liberia could have produced prior to arrival of Ebola, but didn’t.
Soon, monetary donations from foreign governments and non-governmental International financial help institutions reached USD13M (Reference: Liberia’s General Auditing Commission’s report, covering August-October, 2016) The Liberian Government’s ‘revenue and dispensary arm’ was called National Ebola Trust Fund (NETF)
But “corruption” soon reared its ugly head in the Government’s dispense of the “Ebola money” (USD13M), according to the General Auditing Commission (GAC) during the same period. The Commission states: NITF’s affairs was marred by irregularities.”
The money from the World Bank and USAID (United States Agency for International Development) covered in the GAC’s report, the Commission admitted in its official account.
The “Ebola money” made government officials more richer—to build more houses after the World Health Organization’s declaration on Liberia as “Ebola-free”
In a Taxi going toward the Robert International Airport in May, 2019, a male passenger shouted, “That storey building is Tolbert Nyenswah’s house built with Ebola money,” pointing to the house for other people (including this writer) in the car to see. The house being pointed at was a new, green house with five floors, about fifty yards from the road. “My family’s house is behind the Ebola money house,” he added.
Throughout most of the Ebola period, Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah was Director of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and hierarchy member of the National Ebola Trust Fund. He was replaced by Mrs. Ellen Sirleaf’s successor—George Manneh Weah.
President Sirleaf substantiated skeptics’ ‘assumption’ about her Government’s “chop” of (most) of the Ebola money by her declaration (following WHO’s no-more-Ebola-in-Liberia announcement) of ‘Executive exemption’ for all those associated to the “Ebola money” This is the excuse given by the President for her ‘decree’: Most of the Ebola-related spendings were not documented, because the Government attended to many ‘emergency cases’ in many areas where ‘documentation’ was impossible—especially in hinterlands.
VACCINE FOR EBOLA
A couple of months after WHO declared Liberia Ebola-free, the American Government, through the Center for Disease Control (CDC) promoted a ‘new vaccine’, which was introduced in Liberia through a Liberian Government-US Government joint venture named “PREVAIL” (Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccine in Liberia) This joint venture was in each health center in Liberia, except those in remotest parts of the Country with no path for any vehicle (car, motorbike, bicycle). To psychologically compel Liberians to volitionally allow infusion of the “chemical” into their systems, the U.S Government made available some money (between USD20 and USD50) for anybody who “participated” in the PREVAIL ‘injection project’ by allowing him/herself pierced with the syringe containing the “Ebola vaccine”. Majority of those who ‘took part’ were from the impoverished section of the Liberian society—people who live on less than USD1.50 a day.
AN EBOLA “MEMORIAL MONUMENT”
Few months after WHO’s pronouncement of Liberia’s Ebola-free status, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Government has erected a cement-built testimonial about Liberia’s known worst epidemic on the list of the Country’s written records on health hazards beginning from 1882. This place, located in Margibi County, used to be the Government’s national “crematorium” (bodies burning site) There was a national wailing during the official dedication of the place. Liberians who lost their loved ones to this virus now have a ‘reconnection point’ for their “shamefully departed” relatives or friends.
I wish to conclude this article with the following suggestions:
Liberia’s leaders should solidify their Country’s educational system to build a class of sophisticated health personnel that will always be able to differentiate ‘natural virus’ from synthetic one.
Liberia’s political ruling class (Government) should adequately and sufficiently invest in sectors of the Country that will make the Nation economically and scientifically self-reliant. This will end Liberia’s “absolute reliance” on other countries whose governments will “exploit” Liberian citizens for the “experimentation” of their “invention” on the Liberian soil.
The Ministry of Health of Liberia should be thoroughly schooled in knowledge of epidemics to provide less ambiguous information on serious health-related issues to the general citizenry.
Liberians should flush out racial prejudices, in their head or soul, against Westerners helping Liberia with “education” of how to fight and defeat a global health hazard. Ebola’s success against Liberians’ the lives of 9,000-plus Liberians was partially due to (majority) of Liberian citizens’ “doubt” on their belief that it was the “white people’s invention to kill Liberians”
Western Nations/Governments or any foreign Western International Donor Agency helping Liberians on fighting any national crisis in the Country should cage any feeling of “racial inferiority”. Such sentiment creates in the helper’s mind a “less human” feature of the being-helped.
Liberia’s Head of State should devote most time to READING about other Presidents’ “ideas” that successfully transformed their Countries from a “absolutely begging Nation” to a “partially reliant Country”
I strong believe in the “reality” (real-ness) of the Coronavirus and I patriotically advise every Liberian to abide by all prevention measures by the World Health Organization and the Government of Liberia.
What lessons have Liberians learnt from Ebola and Coronavirus in Liberia?
The writer of this article/commentary is a High School student.
About the Author:
Samuel G. Dweh is a Liberian writer (fiction and non-fiction), Author of many Books (fiction and non-fiction) and a journalist He can be reached via: —+231 firstname.lastname@example.org