he World Health Organization (WHO) donated lifesaving medicines and laboratory supplies for testing COVID-19 and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health.
The supplies included Praziquantel tablets to treat nearly 1 million people through community mass drug administration, and assorted laboratory reagents and supplies for testing 10,000 suspected COVID-19 samples and 100 suspected EVD samples.
WHO Representative for Liberia, Dr. Peter Clement officially handed over of the medicines and supplies to the Honourable Minister of Health.
In his handover message, Dr. Clement said, the donation was WHO’s contribution to fight schistosomiasis, combat COVID-19 and mitigate the threats of EVD. He urged the Ministry to increase community testing against COVID-19, strengthen preparedness against EVD and ensure affected communities are appropriately treated against Schistosomiasis.
This donation is in addition to other items handed over to the Ministry of Health for testing and treatment of COVID-19.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said that the supplies will help in the prompt diagnosis of COVID-19 cases and boost the mass drug distribution of Praziquantel in Schistosomiasis hotspot counties in Liberia.
“We are very happy to receive these medicines and assorted EVD and COVID-19 supplies because we can diagnose cases of COVID-19 faster and continue our community testing through the enhanced surveillance plan. We also say thanks to WHO for providing Praziquantel to prevent our citizens from Schistosomiasis”, said Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah.
Schistosomiasis is a disease of poverty that leads to chronic ill-health. Infection is acquired when people come into contact with fresh water infested with the larval forms (cercariae) of parasitic blood flukes, known as Schistosomes. The disease affects almost 240 million people worldwide, and more than 700 million people live in endemic areas. The infection is prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical areas, in poor communities without potable water and adequate sanitation.