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  • Writer's picturekwankew


Having been getting up early in the morning in Bong, I woke up early in Monrovia. It has been raining during the night. Being wide awake, I decide to take a short run when the air was cleaner and the temperature had not soared. I ended up at the Brooklyn Beach, named after Brooklyn in New York. Surprisingly the beaches are clean unlike those in Ghana where they are used by most inhabitants as an outhouse. The waves were threateningly huge and I suspect there must be dangerous undertow.

Later I was driven to visit ELWA3 MSF about 120-bed ETU but we were not able to enter because of an incident not too long ago, perhaps it was a breach when a visitor wandered into a red zone inadvertently. At the peak of the Ebola crisis, patients were often turned away from the full ETU. Then we drove to ELWA 2 Ministry of Health ETU and entered into the green zone. This is a smaller ETU.

The day was getting hotter. We went to West Point, a slum on a peninsula which sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. There are 75,000 impoverished inhabitants squeezed into this small piece of land, crowded, small dilapidated houses crisscrossed by narrow small alleys. This was the place where President Sirleaf enforced a twenty-one day quarantine because of the Ebola outbreak at the end of August and then after 10 days had to abandon it. The squalid condition there probably allows the easy spreading of the infection. There are few toilets and residents use the beach as a public defecation place. This is where they earn their livelihood as well, fishing. The sad children are congregating in the front of the houses, on the dirty cement floors next to a busy street, playing; not an easy place in which to grow up. Slums of Africa continue to be a sad place to visit and I am sure tuberculosis is also rampant here.

In this world many people are born and live in a living hell. I have seen such slums before in other parts of the globe and they always left me dumbfounded as to how this situation can be solved and the people healed and made whole again.

As I watched the news on Aljazeera, I heard nothing but bad news of continued wars in Syria and Iraq, killing of non-Muslims by Al Shabaab in north Kenya near the border of Somalia who were traveling to Nairobi on a bus, killing of villagers by Boko Haram in north west Nigeria, mass rapes in Darfur, plague in Madagascar; there seems to be no end to senseless violence against humanity and diseases. These seem to largely overshadow our small part in the battle against Ebola to make the world a little safer.

I truly did not miss this kind of news while in Bong.

Later early in the wee hours of the morning, I will leave Liberia for home.

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