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Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns
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Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

A media report reporting Ebola cases (dead or suspect) raises serious transmission concerns. The densely populated slum in Monrovia lacks water and electricity. Moreover, the slum has notorious brothels and Ebola can remain viable in sperm for 40 days after infection.

Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

First West Point Ebola Body Removed Wednesday
The township of West Point, Liberia's most densely populated slum is home to approximately 75,000 people with no running water or sewage. The spread of the Ebola virus here would be an absolute catastrophe (PRNewswire image)

First West Point Ebola Body Removed Wednesday

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 08:51 admin

Other Suspected Cases There May Include Some Guineans

The body of an Ebola victim in West Point, Monrovia’s largest slum, was yesterday removed after two nights in the open.

The West Point Commissioner, Madam Haja Flowers, told the Daily Observer, the individual, a male, dropped dead on Monday and repeated calls were made for its removal, but response was delayed. However, on Wednesday morning government people came and picked up the body for transport to the crematorium.

The head of a leading church in West Point revealed to the Daily Observer last night that the victim whose body was removed was a mentally unstable man who had resided at the football field in West Point.

The church leader told this newspaper that there are other suspected Ebola cases near New Road in West Point, and that health authorities were en route to the township last night to conduct tests on them. If these tests proved positive, the affected persons will be taken away and quarantined.

This church leader further informed the Daily Observer that he had learned that several persons from Guinea afflicted with the virus had entered West Point and had since died and were secretly buried. There are other affected persons from Guinea who are feared to have fled the places where they were living in West Point, and are now circulating in the wider community. This is highly dangerous, this church leader said.

Observers said West Point inhabitants were very worried about the Ebola body tarrying for a long period in the township, fearing that its exposure to the general population might have provoked a further spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Such a situation, said one observer, could spread to the Water Side and would endanger the entire Monrovia community, since tens of thousands of people from West Point circulate in the city on a daily basis and are employed in many workplaces around the city, including government institutions.

This observer stressed the need for the health authorities to develop a strategy to contain the virus in that township of over 100,000 people, the majority of them children.

http://www.liberianobserver.com/news/fi ... -wednesday

Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

Liberia: The Devastation of West Point, Monrovia

West Point: What's the story?

West Point is an area of Monrovia, Liberia. While the natural landscaping of the area could be made beautiful, instead it remains one of the worst slums in the world. Smelling of feces and urine, West Point has been called “a giant outhouse”. The beach and coastline is used as a place to relieve oneself and is filled with mounds of human feces and people can be found adding to these mounds at any given time.

There are over 75,000 people living in these poor conditions and it is worsening. Heaps of garbage are everywhere and about 97% of the structures are built without foundations. As one can imagine the health conditions are extremely poor with high rates of tuberculosis and HIV infection. There are an ever increasing mosquito population (due to the amount of stagnant raw sewage) which contributes to an increasing rate of malaria.

The Issue of Rape

The raping of women and children is alarmingly common, often the rapists will even pay the parents of the child and the parents take the money and cover for the rapist. The gender-based violent mentality that was fostered during Liberia’s civil war is still strongly prevalent in the country, very much so in West Point. It is estimated that more than 75% of the women in Liberia have been a victim to rape and it is unknown the number of children who have also been traumatized by sexual violence. Even babies are not protected from rape and cannot be left alone.

The common addiction to drugs like heroin and cocaine does not help the situation; in West Point even children take the drugs. Many women have turned to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves and this line of work is very common in West Bank.

So what is being done to help?

The high rate of disease, drugs, prostitution, violent crime and rape leave West Point looking like hell on earth. One might wonder what the UN and the government are doing about the situation. Not too much it seems. The UN workers that have been posted in Monrovia have even been accused of raping locals themselves.

There are a few grassroots organizations that have been started such as the West Point Women’s Action Group organized by a group of women from the area in 2005. These women work very hard to make things to sell at market in order to raise money for the group’s basic costs. There are various other small institutions like some medical clinics and lawyers groups who also try to help those who have been raped deal with their trauma.

I for one had no idea the state of affairs in this particular area of the world. I was under the impression that all was well since the war had ended. All is not well. Awareness needs to be raised about this situation and the state these people have been living in.

http://lexy.hubpages.com/hub/Liberia-Th ... West-Point

Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

Back in West Point, we take our cameras to a busy brothel that reminds us of a biblical-era rendition of hell. The walls appear spattered and stained by some vicious cocktail of human fluid. A fetid air wafts throughout. Bloody rags and condoms lay strewn across the floor. The half-dozen girls on call accuse some UN members of flagrant sexual misconduct. When chaos breaks out in the whorehouse, we hit the road in search of General Butt Naked.

URL: http://www.celebritynetworth.com/video/ ... 517131109/

Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

West Point Monrovia


Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Ebola virus was isolated from semen 61 days after onset of illness in a man who was infected in a laboratory.

Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.


Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

Five Bodies Found In West Point Township

By: Winnie Dixon (Intern)

MONROVIA, August 13 (LINA) - Residents of the Township of West Point, the largest slum in the Liberian capital Monrovia, were shocked by the discovery of five dead bodies with symptoms of the Ebola virus in their community.

West Point is a low income community with a heavily congested population of both Liberians and foreign nationals who eke out their living from fishing and petty trading as well as employment in government.


Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

Liberia: Representatives Dissatisfied Over Ebola Task Force Performance

By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
The toll the Ebola virus has taken in the country seems to be of concern to members in the House of Representatives as they begin to have diverse debates on how to handle the issue not only in their constituents but in the entire country.

Even though at the 50-day sitting of the third session of the 53rd Legislature yesterday, representatives took a majority vote to empower the committee on health so that it monitors the funds being provided the National Task Force to fight Ebola while some lawmakers expressed that the situation needs to be addressed holistically.

Some lawmakers even expressed dissatisfaction over how the Task Force is conducting itself especially as the National Legislature has concurred to set aside some $20 million in the National Budget to assist in the fight against the virus.

According to them, the fund earmarked will cause a serious injury to the budget and that would mean cut in salaries, allowances and other special benefits therefore the Task Force should be monitored not by itself but by others whose donations and assistance it relies on to perfect its duty.

Among lawmakers whose points were made clear was that of Monstserrado County Representative George Solo who explained how the newest 4455 hotline just announced yesterday by the Task Force with text messages forwarded to individual cellphones is still making no impact.

Rep. Solo informed the House of Representatives' plenary how four dead bodies were lying in his slum constituency of West Point with no member of the Task Force responding to any of the calls and interventions made by him or his community members up until the time of the session yesterday.

He said even with the single hotline, no one responds and if the funds provided are to be used by the Task Force headed by the Chief Executive to respond to incidences rapidly; it should begin doing its job because the so disgruntled residents would begin taking defiant actions.

"For me, if nothing is done to address the situation in my district which is the largest slum community in Montserrado County, I will take those bodies and have them laid before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because we cannot have a hotline that nobody pays attention to," Rep. Solo told his colleagues.

At the same time, Lofa County Representative, Mariam Fofana, urged her fellow lawmakers to be serious about the spread of the virus. She told them that Ebola needs not come to their door steps before they join in the fight.

Rep. Fofana said in her district alone over 60 persons have died already and at least 300 are suspected and using Lofa and Montserrado as the epic Counties and that lawmakers need to leave their comforts and begin to sensitize their electorates.

On the issue of establishing a small group to monitor the funds provided, Rep Fofana said these are not times for the establishment of ad-hoc committees instead all must get involved if the Ebola virus is to be eradicated because it is not even time to speak about or apply the equal distribution theory.

She said as for Lofa, it needs no awareness about the Ebola virus because the evidence is clear and speaks for itself but in counties that have not tasted the virus or are not hardly hit; should be the major focus and that should be the concern of the entire Legislature.

She further called on the residents in areas that are experiencing the Ebola virus to continue encouraging their communities to seek medical attention and give dignity to their dead while in those counties that have not experienced the virus should take the preventive measures seriously.

Meanwhile, the House has accepted a majority vote to invite the NEC to its tomorrow session to explain the reasons for rescheduling the special senatorial elections because even as it suggests the postponement of the election, it is already in violation of its own guidelines regarding campaigning therefore the plenary needs explanation to the way forward before granting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's request to hold a consultation with that body on the matter but the Liberian Senate has discussed and decided to send similar communication to its committee on elections to advise the plenary on how to proceed.


Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

2 hours ago
A man in West Point, a slum that three days ago had no Ebola and now is on the brink of a meltdown, talks about losing his brother and his sister-in-law to the disease. She took care of the brother, and then she got sick -- but no one brought her food or water. Everyone is too afraid. Silver lining: The kids are still alive, he says, because they live somewhere else.


Author:  niman [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ebola In West Point Slum Raises Transmission Concerns

Monrovia declare Ebola epic-center
Friday, 15 August 2014 01:28
Winston W. Parley

The co-chair of the national Ebola task force, Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly, says as a matter of coordinating county and district efforts in the Ebola fight, “Monrovia has been turned into a center all by itself,” due to the incidents of infections in certain areas of the capital.

During a consultative meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday, August 14, the task force heard that more cases were still emerging in Monrovia as Bomi citizens are trying to by-pass the Clay Checkpoint to enter Monrovia.

Though minister Dukuly reported that Lofa, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties have already been quarantined “with some success,” he said he has begun engaging the military and police to extend the checkpoint at St. Paul Bridge because Bomi citizens are trying to by-pass the checkpoint in Clay to enter the capital.

For his part, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, proposed a routine screening of people at community levels because Monrovia is a highly congested area. He fears that if there is an outbreak in very congested areas like Soniwhein, Clara Town and West Point, it poses a very serious problem for Monrovia.

Mr. Samukai proposed further that the West Point and Duala Markets be completely shut down to restrict movements in these areas, but other members of the task force feared it could pose economic problems. The defense boss insists that there is no way West Point and Duala can be isolated without closing the market there, saying “if you can’t contain, you can’t resolve.”

He said one problem being faced is that religious people in the affected counties, especially Lofa, adding that the “Islamic faith” is not listening and respecting Ebola preventive measures. Liberia’s Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah said Ebola had in the past been dealt with in rural areas of those countries that had the experience.

But “unfortunately” for Liberia, he said with the situation now in the highly populated capital, Monrovia, the Health Ministry may not be able to take care of the influx of cases right now no matter how many isolation units are opened.

Due to the number of cases being received in Monrovia, Nyenswah said the government referral hospital, John F. Kennedy or JFK Ebola testing unit has been reactivated, and by this weekend, the ELWA unit responsible for confirmed cases will be ready. At JFK, he said 53 beds would be ready for the JFK unit; and that in collaboration with MSF, he estimated that by Sunday, August 17, they may have a total of about 120 capacities.

Already, he says they have been working to reopen hospitals that were closed, and JFK is now opened to pregnant women, while on Wednesday, August 13, he said Redemption Hospital treated 200 plus people. Those affected with HIV are getting their drugs from Redemption, he said.

In order to stop transmission, Nyenswah said they have designed a strategy to work with high schools and communities, and disclosed that on Wednesday, August 13, they started implementing the strategy in the township of West Point.

Meanwhile, Nyenswah had earlier proposed to the government that Southeast Liberia be immediately cut off from the rest of the counties to avoid Ebola spreading there.

http://www.thenewdawnliberia.com/index. ... &Itemid=59

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