Accountability regarding the US$5 million approved by the Legislature to contain the spread of the Ebola virus has finally drawn the attention of members of the Liberian Senate, with plenary requesting for a detailed expenditure report from the head of the Ebola taskforce, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
With Senators acknowledging an error in approving the fund without a detailed work plan at the time, they stressed the need for the Taskforce to submit a report within a week for perusal and subsequent audit by the General Auditing Commission (GAC).
A joint communication by Senators Nyonblee Kanga-Lawrence, Geraldine Doe-Sheriff and Sando Johnson expressed disappointment over government’s fight against the Ebola pandemic.
The Senators in their communication argued that there is no visible impact regarding the use of the money, citing shortage of medical supplies at referral hospitals, salaries for health workers and the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the increasing number of deaths and confirmed cases, among others.
The communication comes in the wake of a growing number of reported and recorded deaths to over 1,495 persons, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics issued Monday, September 22, 2014.
Senator Sando Johnson told plenary that despite the approval of an initial US$5 million, people are still dying in their homes and communities.
He complained about the ineffectiveness of the Ebola call center and said the shortage of ambulances to respond to suspected cases was worrying. “What happen to the initial five million we approved for this Ebola fight; health workers are not paid, no ambulances and protective equipment and medical supplies, so where is the money or how was it used?” Senator Johnson wondered.
For his part, Bong County Senator Henry Yallah claimed that 13 persons have died from Ebola Virus Disease in Bong Mines. He told plenary that other suspected persons remained at large because they ran into nearby bushes.