President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the fight against Ebola exposed problems confronting Liberia’s healthcare system, including the lack of enough doctors and nurses.
She observed that the Ebola epidemic also showed that all health facilities in the country are not up-to-date, and therefore stressed the need to build a healthcare system that has the “capacity to respond” to future disease outbreaks.
The Liberian leader said her government is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) and officials in Britain to develop an effective healthcare delivery system. In an interview with the Voice of America Africa (VOA) over the weekend, President Sirleaf said empowering communities to take ownership and responsibility in the fight against Ebola was one of her most effective tools. The Liberian leader added that going against Liberia’s long-established traditions and ordering the dead to be cremated was difficult, but it made a difference.
President Sirleaf was pleased that some of the funds being allocated to fight Ebola will be used to support the regional economic recovery program. She also disclosed she and her West African counterparts from Guinea and Sierra Leone met with World Bank officials who have agreed to provide $650 million to their three countries over the next one and half years to help them recover from the Ebola crisis.