Gbowee foundation welcomes win against Ebola

GPFA Executive Director Williametta Saydee-Tarr

GPFA Executive Director Williametta Saydee-Tarr

After 42 days with no recorded cases of Ebola, Liberia has been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO). This happened on May 9. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee and the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) welcome this great news.

But the head of the foundation has warned that since new cases of Ebola are still being recorded in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone, the outbreak is not over yet.

“For Liberia to record 42 days with no cases of Ebola is a God-blessed milestone,” said Williametta Saydee-Tarr, GPFA’s Executive Director. “But we can’t take our foot off the gas yet – at least not until both countries  record 42 days with no cases.” 

“The Liberian government and the Liberian people have worked hard to help us achieve 42 days of zero Ebola cases but that hard work could be undone in an instant if we become complacent,” Mrs. Tarr noted.

Nearly two hundred Liberian health workers died after contracting Ebola and the epidemic decimated the country’s already fragile national health system.

“It’s time for health needs to be addressed as a priority,” she added, noting that “Liberians must feel confident they can access a health care system  and have their needs looked after. We call on the international community to continue to support Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in rebuilding strong and affordable national health systems with adequate human and material resources.”

The GPFA commended its international partners for their support that helped make Liberia free from the deadly virus which caused over 4,000 Liberian deaths.

The organizations include the American Jewish World Service, African Petroleum, Segal Family Foundation, African Women Development Fund, Eustace Kwan Foundation, Abigail Disney,  Friends of GPFA at the East New York Diagnostic & Treatment Center and individual patrons from the GlobalGiving and Network For Good donor platforms. 

Through the support of these donors and partners, GPFA was able to support 105 local and rural community-based organizations(CBOs) and media institutions during the heat of the EBOLA outbreak across the country. 

The foundation  also engaged health personnel to conduct training programs to implement the GPFA’s Ebola Outreach Awareness Initiative, a campaign that saw about $137,192 distributed to CBOs and media entities across 13 of Liberia’s 15 counties. 

The GPFA was also able to ship into the country a total of 31,807lbs of medical supplies for distribution to community healthcare centers. The supplies were donated by GPFA’s partner MedShare and mostly flown into the country by Airlink, another partner of the foundation.

 

Story & Photo: Peter N. Toby 

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