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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora