In an effort to enhance disease surveillance following the outrage of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, the Ministry of Health has released an early warning and response system in order to respond and detect future outbreaks of disease in the country.
Addressing yesterday’s press briefing of the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, John Sumo, Director of Health Promotion of the Ministry of Health, indicated that the exercise is also intended to inform the public about the dangers the disease posed. Sumo indicated that priority diseases earmarked by the ministry for the consideration include Acute Flaccid Paralysis or weakness in the legs or arms, Acute Watery Diarrheal or loss of water in the body, and Cholera. He added that diseases such as diarrhea with blood or watery stool containing red blood, malaria, measles, meningitis or infection of the spinal cord, neonatal tetanus, pneumonia, tuberculosis, viral hemorrhagic fever or family of viruses, yellow fever, Ebola virus disease, maternal death are diseases that need serious public awareness. Sumo noted that the Ministry early warning and response system is intended to detect and respond to possible disease outbreaks in the future. He mentioned that the system is significant in that the public awareness on the priority diseases and how to recognize them and report promptly are essential. “Dissemination of this information through the media is important due to the reach and trust people have in the media”, he indicated, noting, it is against this background that a media kit has been prepared to enable journalists to know more about these diseases and to share this information on a regular basis to their listeners and readers.