Although we are aware that you our friends, sponsors, supporters, well-wishers, etc., read and see a lot about the Ebola virus disease (EVD) on various international media outlets, we have come to the conclusion that it is still our duty to update you because of your interest and involvement in the work we all are doing in Buchanan. And so we will continue to fill you in from time to time.
In this update, I wish to focus on Grand Bassa County. Liberia has fifteen counties, and one of the counties is called Grand Bassa. Its capital city is Buchanan – the place where our school is located. As many of you may have already read, Buchanan is about 113km from Monrovia. Ebola is in the county, and it is definitely in Buchanan; however, the county – and by extension, Buchanan – is not as gravely affected as other counties such as Montserrado, Lofa and Nimba. This is good news. Another good news is that, although our school is closed for now because of the Ebola crisis, we have received no news about any of our students, staff or parents contracting the virus or dying of it.
Statistics on Infection
On the Ebola statistics of the county, as released by the Ministry of Health on October 2, the total confirmed, probable and suspected cases was 132: 38 suspected cases, 47 probable cases, and 47 confirmed cases. The statistics summarize what is happening in each county; they do not indicate what is happening in each city. This is why I am unable to indicate the number of Ebola cases in Buchanan. Grand Bassa County has a population of 224,839, while Buchanan’s population is about 34,000 (2008 census).
Statistics on Deaths
Total number of deaths among confirmed cases was 21; total number of deaths among probable cases was 9 and the total number of deaths among suspected cases was 8. This means the total number of persons that had died of Ebola (including probable, suspected and confirmed cases) since the outbreak in March was 38 as of October 2. Compared with other counties, the total number of deaths for Bong County was 114; for Lofa County, it was 438; for Margibi County, it was 250; for Montserrado County, it was 1,050; and for Nimba County, it was 136.
My Participation in Law Students Ebola Awareness Campaign
In a related development, as some of you may be aware, I am a student at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia. I am also a part-time English instructor at the same university. However, because all schools, including colleges and universities, are closed as a result of the Ebola crisis and most of us have nothing doing for now, we students of the Law School came together and formed ourselves into a group which visits various places – communities, market places, shops, entertainment centers, etc – to carry out awareness about the Ebola virus disease.
We bought our own t-shirts and paid an artist to print on it for us. We use the t-shirts for our outreach. We are not being paid by anyone, nor do we receive donations from the government or any NGO. It is a completely volunteer work to help our fellow citizens observe the safety measures announced by health workers and experts. Our goal is to help prevent people from contracting the virus.
I am the Coordinator of outreach. We started Phase One on September 2 and ended it on September 14. We went out three times a week – Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays. We spoke to 3,285 persons. We launched Phase Two on September 25 and we are still on it. It is for three weeks, but we go out two times a week – Thursdays and Saturdays. It will end this Saturday. Written by Paul Yeenie Harry, Director of HLFCS