Marketers Urged to Be Careful Trading with Guinea
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare (MoSHW), Dr. (MD) Walter T. Gwenigale, has urged marketers in the country to be careful in handling cross-border business activities with neighboring Guinea.
Minister Gwenigale’s warning comes in the wake of the deadly Ebola virus taking a toll on Guineans and as this virus has now spread across the border into Liberia. His warning was also geared toward minimizing the outbreak of the virus in Liberia.
At least 60 out of 80 persons are now confirmed dead in neighboring Guinea, after coming in contact with Ebola virus in the southern forest regions of Gueckedou and Macenta, close to the Liberian border.
Speaking at a news conference Monday, March 24, at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, Dr. Gwenigale said it was important for the marketers and those living in close bordering towns within Liberia to not go into Guinea when it is not absolutely necessary. However, he urged everyone to always wash their hands as many times as possible and avoid handshake and bodily contacts. The latter two are part of means by which the virus can spread from person to person.
Dr. Gwenigale and his Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Bernice Dahn, who also spoke at the conference, disclosed that a team of medical petitioners had already been sent to bordering Liberian towns in order to trace and investigate the situation. They also said the team is sensitizing others local health authorities and residents in the areas on the disease prevention.
According to these two Medical doctors, Ebola’s symptoms include vomiting, fever, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, muscle pain, etc.
Both health authorities pleaded with family members of anyone showing one of more of these symptoms to do as much as possible not for everyone to handle him or her and to immediately contact the health facility nearby.
The Health Minister said: “We have taken initial measures to protect everyone and also the health workers by providing them [health workers] hand gloves, goggles and masks, which will help to make it easier for the health team to carry on their investigation.”
According to him, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is concerned of the on-going situation and was backing the Health Ministry and partners’ actions as they work to contain the virus.
He revealed that five of six affected persons, who crossed into Liberia have died and the sixth is being treated at a medical facility in Zorzor, Lofa County.
“Two went back and died in Guinea while the three died in Liberia and their remains were properly disposed of,” they said.
The Health Minister and his deputy re-emphasized that the public should avoid every and all the things that lead to the virus spreading.