News / Africa

    Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

    • A man working for a humanitarian group throws small bags of water to the residents behind the fence as they wait for a second consignment of food from the Liberian Government, at the West Point area, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 22, 2014.
    • West Point residents stand behind a green string marking a holding area, as they wait for a second consignment of food from the Liberian Government, at the West Point area, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 22, 2014.
    • Liberian policemen (right) speak with residents of the West Point area to calm them down as they wait for a second consignment of food from the Liberian Government, at the West Point area, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 22, 2014.
    • Kevin Brantly, the American doctor who, along with a second American aid worker, contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia, has recovered and was discharged from Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
    • Kevin Brantly, who contracted the deadly virus Ebola, looks at his wife Amber during a press conference at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
    • Kevin Brantly (left), who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, looks down as his wife Amber (center) hugs a member of Emory's medical staff during a press conference at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
    • Kevin Brantly, who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, hugs a member of Emory's medical staff during a press conference at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
    • Kevin Brantly (left), who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, thanks Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory's Infectious Disease Unit during a press conference at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 21, 2014.
    US Ebola Patients Released From Hospital, 'Pose No Threat'
    Anne Look

    The situation remains tense in the Liberian capital after authorities quarantined two large suburbs there this week. The government said it is trying to stop Ebola from spreading further in Monrovia, but people stuck inside the barricaded areas say they are getting hungry and restless.

    Two days into the quarantine in Dolo Town and food prices are going up. A 25-kilo sack of rice that would normally sell for $25 is now $40.

    “As I speak to you, even a sack of mineral water, we [are] buying it for 250 Liberian dollars. The prices are going way up. How [does] the government want us to survive?" one resident said.

    The government gave no advance notice of the quarantine. Residents woke up Wednesday to police putting up checkpoints and makeshift barricades.

    Monrovia, LiberiaMonrovia, Liberia
    x
    Monrovia, Liberia
    Monrovia, Liberia

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered no one to go in or out of Dolo Town or the West Point slum, also located outside the capital. She said the measure is intended to check the spread of Ebola in the capital.

    Authorities said more than 20 people who have died in Dolo Town recently are suspected to have had the virus. There is a holding center for suspected cases there but no treatment center.

    “We want to have the Ebola test conducted in our community so we can be free and move in and out because I will not continue to live in a cave. Now I cannot go this way. I cannot go that way. I’m really most disappointed with this kind of situation,” another local resident said.

    Families don’t keep large stocks of food at home in these mostly low-income areas.

    Ebola Virus: How to Prevent Spreading the Disease

    • Avoid physical contact with people showing symptoms: continuous high fever, red eyes, vomiting and stomach ache.
    • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently, including under the fingernails. Use soap and clean water; use hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
    • Use gloves when taking care of infected patients.
    • Avoid contact with raw meat; cook all animal food and by-products thoroughly.
    • Avoid bush meat; avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates.
    • Avoid areas of known outbreaks.
    • Do not touch anyone who has died from Ebola.

    Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, Plan International

    In West Point, the quarantine sparked a panic. Residents trying to venture out to buy food Wednesday clashed with security forces, leaving at least one person dead, a teenage boy shot by police.

    “They are cooperating. We are very pleased. It is not about war between any of our citizens and any authority so we are not concerned about who is winning and who is losing. They are cooperating and we are getting there,” said Defense Ministry spokesman David Dahn, who in Dolo Town Friday to assess the situation.

    Newly opened Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia are already filled to overflowing, but the World Health Organization is also warning of a possible “invisible caseload of patients.”

    The WHO said people in Liberia and Sierra Leone continue to hide their sick family members, either denying they have Ebola or simply wishing to let their loved ones die at home.

    Ebola is spread through close contact with the bodily fluids of a sick person, making those who care for patients susceptible to the virus.

    Liberia is now reporting more deaths and more cases than any other affected country.

    Senator Clarice Jah of Margibi County, where Dolo Town is located, urged residents to follow health recommendations.

    "You love your mom, if your mom come down with it, please do all you can to be able to rush your mom to the nearest center to test her. Your child or your partner, whoever it is. I have come to encourage you. I have come to build your hope,” she said.

    Senator Jah was among the government officials who donated sacks of rice and beans and plastic buckets for hand washing to residents there Friday.

    People at the distribution said the donated goods were nowhere near enough for the area’s some 30,000 residents.

    Prince Collins reported from Monrovia, Liberia.

     

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Chas Darwin from: us
    August 23, 2014 5:31 AM
    Famine, plague, war, or birth control. Choose. I guess you have.
    Malthus.


    by: Ralph Dratman from: New Jersey, USA
    August 22, 2014 8:51 PM
    This could turn out to be the most terrifying outbreak of disease since the Black Plague devastated europe around 1350. I cannot remember hearing of anything like this in my lifetime. It is appalling to think about closing off entire neighborhoods with the illness running wild, without medical care, lacking even food and water.
    In Response

    by: michael from: USA
    August 22, 2014 10:48 PM
    It is frightening but there have been other devastating outbreaks far past the time of the Black Plagues in Europe. Example the flu pandemic that followed WWI that killed more people than the war did. I wonder if there will be riots from the closed off slums. Pray not.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora