Libera has officially been declared Ebola free. The West African country which suffered the most deaths due to the virus has eradicated the virus.
According to the world health organization, the 42 days have passed since the last victim was buried meaning the outbreak is officially over.
The streets of Monrovia that were busy with ambulances in September and August are now calm and quiet.
President Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia held a moment of silence for those who lost their lives and commended those who helped fight the virus. She also expressed her gratitude to Liberia’s international partners.
The President spent the morning visiting hospitals where nurses and doctors were in cheer and celebration chanting the phrase ‘No more Ebola’.
According to W.H.O, there were more than 3,000 confirmed cases in Liberia and 7,400 suspected probable cases.
The West African country that was riddled with a civil war for 12 years had a weak health care system, prior to the outbreak Liberia’s health care system had only 50 doctors, a few dentists and one psychiatrist to handle a population of 4.1 million people.
The economic impact on the country was also fairly large as they had a weak infrastructure system. Liberia’s economy depends heavily on the agricultural sector, with it making up 39% of the country’s GDP. Agricultural households reported in 2014 a smaller harvest compared to previous years due to the outbreak. This in turn led to a higher government expenditure and a short-term fiscal impact of $93 million approximation as stated by the Liberian Ambassador to the United States during his address in 2014 at the Universal peace Federation.
Women who are still greatly affected by unemployment opt for self-employment working as traders or in markets. These types of jobs were impacted heavily by the outbreak.
The already struggling tourism industry also suffered a loss as travel advisories were issued. Many of the tourists came from the United States of America.
With the reducing number of infected school systems were able to restart however, they saw a decrease in the number of secondary level students compared to their primary level counter parts. This is due to the fact secondary school education is more costly and many families were faced with financial constraints. Added to this older children have more income generating potential for families hence they did not return to school.
Now Liberia must focus on bringing back international investors as its business sector is largely controlled by foreigners mainly of Lebanese and Indian descent.
Liberia’s neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea are still suffering losses, however, not a greatly as when the outbreak first began.
The last case of Ebola in Liberia was a woman in the capital who had developed symptoms on 20th March and died seven days later. The source of where she contracted the disease is still under investigation. The people she came in contact with during that time were tested and showed no symptoms of the virus and were later released from surveillance.
The Ebola outbreak that claimed the lives of over 11,000 people and recorded 26,600 patients in nine countries is the worst epidemic to hit the country of Liberia.