TUBMANBURG, Bomi â€“ The health services administrator for Bomi says the county health team is not ready to respond to Coronavirus cases.
On a local radio show in Bomi on Monday, Fallah Freer said his team lacks the necessary training and support to respond to suspected COVID-19 cases in theÂ county.
â€œFor now, there is no support. I donâ€™t want to hide this thing â€“ even my boss and I have been brainstorming on it for the past days,â€ Freer said.
In the absence of logistical support and a trained Coronavirus response team, Freer said the county health team in Bomi would always have to alert authorities in Monrovia to respond to cases. This would undoubtedly cause a delay in response time.
Although a team of health professionals in Bomi were trained to respond to Ebola cases during the epidemic, Freer says they have not been trained yet on the unique aspects of COVID-19.
â€œFor now, Bomi only has Ebola specialists, not Coronavirus specialists, in case of any suspected case, we will call for intervention from Monrovia,â€ he added.
Freer also expressed fear in using the countyâ€™s existing ambulance to respond to Coronavirus cases, due to the potential for contamination. He suggested that a separate ambulance would be needed for COVID-19 patients.
â€œWe cannot be using the same ambulances to do referral of pregnant women and other minor cases [while] at the same using them for Coronavirus cases,â€ he noted. â€œI am very sure that there [should be separate] ambulances for the referral of Coronavirus cases.â€
While Freer suggests that the county should have a separate ambulance reserved only for Coronavirus cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not require or suggest that health systems maintain separate fleets. Instead, there are recommendations for cleaning ambulances after transporting each suspected or confirmed Coronavirus. In the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., the cleaning facility for emergency vehicles uses hydrogen peroxide vapors, in addition to other cleaning substances, to decontaminate ambulances for general use.
Although Bomi has not yet recorded any confirmed Coronavirus cases, neighboring Montserrado is the current epicenter of the disease in Liberia. Nationwide, there have been 59 confirmed cases, including 6 deaths.
Featured photo by Richard Williams