first_imgLiberian health authorities are confident about the government’s ability to fight the latest outbreak of Ebola that has claimed the life of a 17-year-old boy this week. However, health workers are calling for improvement of working conditions and provision of incentives. Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Francis N. Kateh, says health practitioners here are trustworthy and capable of combating any Ebola virus outbreak in the country.The confirmation of the Ebola death of the 17 year-old boy in Margibi County reversed Liberia’s Ebola transmission-free status some seven weeks after the country was officially certificated by the World Health Organization (WHO).But as Dr. Kateh was boasting of his Ministry’s preparedness, level of experience and training of Liberian health workers, two more new confirmed Ebola cases were reported in the same Nendonwein area where the boy died. The first outbreak of Ebola claimed the lives of over 4,000 people in Liberia including scores of health workers. This time, Dr. Kateh believes things are not going to be the same, because there are presently trained manpower who have the capacity and experience to handle infectious disease outbreaks, including the Ebola virus.“We want to encourage the public to speak out and report any suspected case to health workers within their various communities to avoid further outbreak. We want to also encourage community dwellers to keep sick people away from others, bury all dead bodies safely, and remain very vigilant as health workers strive to contain the situation in Margibi County,” the Chief Medical Officer cautioned.The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease last year exposed the weaknesses in Liberia’s health care system, which had very little supplies of gloves and no Personal Protective Equipment as well as just a few ambulances to begin with.Many are not sure how prepared health workers are now to face this new Ebola outbreak, in the wake of mounting protests by former ETU workers for unpaid risk benefits during the last outbreak. Some say they are prepared training-wise but motivation is another question.Nurse Alice Beyan is confident that Liberian health workers have good training and experience in containing the new Ebola outbreak.“There were lessons learned from the last outbreak and as such, health practitioners are fully prepared for future outbreak of epidemic and other diseases. Since the first outbreak, Ministry of Health and its partners have been able to train health workers in Infection and Prevention Control (IPC),” Nurse Beyan said.She citied the building of triages at various health centers across the country and said they would help in monitoring patients entering those health facilities for treatment.“The government has supplied health centers with Personal Preventive Equipment (PPE) as a means of preparing health workers ahead of any outbreak. But more need to be done in building responsive and vibrant health centers that will respond to diseases,” the local health worker told our Reporters from her clinic in Dolo Town.Although she is optimistic, Nurse Beyan thinks more incentives and better benefits need to be given Liberian health workers, in addition to training of more nurses. She also spoke of the need to improve the surveillance system through community-based programs.Like the Health Ministry authorities, the Ms. Beyan wants citizens to have confidence in their health practitioners, amidst the latest Ebola outbreak.“Liberians need to build confidence in the country’s health workers by reporting sick people and dead ones. If the new outbreak must be contained, it will require the involvement of the various communities.”Another health worker, Madam Irene G. Sherman, Officer-In-Charge of Soniwein Health Center in central Monrovia, also supports the view that health workers, government and its partners have the experience and capacity to combat the virus.However, Madam Sherman regretted that motivation and incentives are lacking.“We observed that the government is not providing motivation for health workers, because many of them leave Liberia to seek medical treatment in other countries rather than focus on building the capacity of health workers and facilities to ensure that health practitioners perform well,” the Soniwein Health Center official added.“For years now, there has been a shortage of doctors, nurses and other trained health workers. The deaths of many of them during the first Ebola crisis has even further worsened the problem. Poor pay and conditions of service have led to flight of local health workers, while others have opted out of the profession.“We usually struggle as health workers to get to work, even at the point that health workers are not being assisted by the Health Ministry’s vehicles when they are wearing clothes that identify them as health workers. They forget to know that these are the people making them to use big cars,” Nurse Irene Sherman said.But whenever they are pressed to comment on the plight of Liberia’s health workers, health authorities and the government have pointed to an ambitious blueprint in the post Ebola recovery plan expected to be heavily funded by the international community.Many Liberians are crossing their fingers and hoping that health workers along with the Health Ministry and partners would work harder in order to ensure that this latest outbreak does not spread.Dr. Kateh has said health workers have been dormant since then and, as such, need refresher training to ensure that they are steadfast in handling the situation.Note: This story was produced out of a week-long media training workshop organized by the Liberian Women Media Action (LIWOMAC).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgAs Donegal’s four hundred dairy farmers count the cost of falling milk prices it is estimated that the county will suffer a decline of €15 million in the business for 2015.And there is no immediate expectation for an early recovery according to sources in the industry.One Ramelton dairy farm has reported losses of €56,000 in the first half of this year alone. The farmer said that he expects to take a hit of at least €80,000 for the whole year and this kind of loss is not sustainable should it work through into 2016. It is feared the milk price collapse could see as much as one billion Euros removed from a very fragile rural economy this year.Ironically consumer prices have not come down even though prices being paid to farmers have dropped 30% amid more transparency in the food supply chain.Milk has dropped by ten cents a litre since this time last year and the euphoria about quotas being abolished has been dampened greatly due to the harsh reality of supply and demand.Meanwhile the IFA has warned one-third of dairy farmers could find themselves selling at negative margins for 2015 as a whole. Milk production figures for April and May were 12% higher than for the same period last yearNew figures from the Central Statistics Office show the price farmers are receiving for milk is down 24% compared to this time last year.The reduction is being driven by lower milk prices in the global market place.Despite the drop in prices, the amount of milk being produced is at an all-time high as farmers have increased their output in response to the abolition of EU milk quotas at the start of April.Milk production figures for April and May were 12% higher than for the same period last year.The President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association John Comer said there is a lot of anxiety among his members, particularly those who have a lot of borrowings, who are finding themselves constrained because of a lack of profitability.“That has a serious effect not only on the members but also on the economy,” he said.Every one once cent drop in the milk price paid to farmers takes €60m out of the economy. Mr. McMahon says that the fact that Donegal milk is processed in Killygordon has been a big help and costs have been consequently reduced to a minimum and the industry has got a good spin off with the sale of Donegal Creameries to Connacht Gold in 2012 was a major plus for the Donegal farmers.In July, 185 new tractors were licensed – down from 198 in the corresponding month in 2014 and 246 in 2013.To date in 2015, 1,358 in tractors were licensed, according to the CSO figurers. This compares to 1,551 licensed over the same period last year.The CSO figures are represent a 12% fall in the number of tractors licensed for the first time in 2015 compared to 2014. There has also been a substantial fall in the number of imported tractors this year, the CSO figures show. DONEGAL DAIRYMEN HIT FOR €15M was last modified: August 13th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:dairy farmersdonegalmilklast_img read more