Families under Voluntary Ebola Observation Complain of Neglect

PAYNESVILLE, Montserrado – Several families currently under voluntary precautionary observation for the new Ebola outbreak in Kemah Town in the Soul Clinic community have complained of neglect.

Members of the families said that since last Friday, the government has not properly attended to their wellbeing after placing them under observation.

They noted that they are without water and enough food, noting each family was only issued a half bag of rice each a few days ago by the World Food Program through a nongovernmental organization, Concern Worldwide.

A visit by The Bush Chicken to the affected community also revealed that the area is not effectively restricted.

Visitors and residents were seen moving around in the isolated area. Additionally, it was not clear which individuals were under the voluntary precautionary observation.

The lack of an effective control of persons coming in contact with the voluntary precautionary observation individuals could undermine the entire process.

The house in which the sister of the newest Ebola victim lives was also visited by The Bush Chicken. It is home to four families with a total of 12 persons.

The families said health authorities placed them under observation last Friday, following the death of a woman in Monrovia who died from the deadly Ebola virus. But they deny that the dead woman ever visited her sister in Kemah Town. Rather, they said the newest Ebola victim’s sister usually visited her sister in the 72nd community before her death.

This contradicted the account of health authorities who earlier said the woman, upon arrival in Monrovia from Guinea, lodged with her sister in the Soul Clinic community and later sought medical treatment at the Ma Watta Clinic in Jacob Town.

Some residents of the home of the newest Ebola victim’s sister. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Some residents of the home of the newest Ebola victim’s sister. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Meanwhile, the latest information received says three confirmed cases have been reported.

Sorbor George, Director for Communication at the Ministry of Health told this news outlet that the latest cases involve the sons of the dead woman, aged 5 and 3. One suspected case is at Redemption Hospital.

George said the initial contacts have increased from 85 to 97. Contact tracing is ongoing in the Soul Clinic community.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah   

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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