Dr. Catherine Kurkett-Kamara, director of the SALT rehabilitation clinic in the community of Zubah Town in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, raised the alarm about the emergence of a new disease in the country, which she classified as a "virus Zika ", transmitted mainly by mosquitoes.
The disease, according to Dr. Kamara, is caused by a virus transmitted mainly by Aedes mosquitoes, which bites its victims during the day.
Symptoms are generally mild to include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache.
Dr. Kamara, Liberian and certified physical therapist, is based in the United States of America. He made the revelation to journalists recently in Monrovia.
He said the virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, which over the years has affected many Liberians, especially children. According to her, if a mosquito carrying the virus bites a pregnant mother, "the mother is not affected, rather the unborn child is affected".
SALT Rehabilitation Clinic evaluates and treats people seeking recovery after stroke, fractured bones, joint deformities, prosthetic training, muscle weakness, motor vehicle accidents and motorcycles.
"Emmanuel Dogbeh, who has been with the SALT rehabilitation clinic since 2016, seemed to have the virus, but I brought his photos to the United States, and everyone agreed that little Emmanuel suffers from the Zika virus," Kamara said.
He said that little Emmanuel was taken to the clinic by his grandmother, who explained that they did not know his problem.
"Little Emmanuel would not lift his head or sit upright. I was moved by the shape of the head, the position of the nose and the ear," said the mother of Emmanuel sick.
Dr. Kamara added: "These are all characteristics that were familiar to me as a public health doctoral student. I am also sure there are other children around like Little Emmanuel. We are all Africans and if you have a child with a disability, people start saying a lot, including the child being hit by "dragon". For the patient, I have to convince the grandmother that this condition is not the creation of any creature called dragon ".
He said the Zika virus was observed three years ago, "but I tried to attract the attention of public health professionals of the Ministry of Health to examine this problem."
Dr. Francis Kateh, Liberia's chief medical officer, could not be reached with several calls and a text message addressed to him, for clarity on the matter, remained unanswered.
During the 169th celebration of the Independence of Liberia in July 2016, the national speaker for the occasion, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, announced to the Liberians that he had invented a "simple, quick and convenient test in able to detect many infectious pathogens and to tell the differences between the pathogens at the same time in just 10 or 40 minutes. "Dr. Nyan also received a United Sates Patent for his invention. The Nyan test, as it is known in the global scientific community, is patented and able to detect viruses including Zika, HIV, hepatitis, dengue hemorrhagic fever virus (which has symptoms similar to the Ebola virus), Ebola, among others.
In February of that year, the World Bank Group announced that it immediately made $ 150 million available to support the Latin American and Caribbean countries affected by the Zika virus epidemic.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no specific medicine or vaccine for the Zika virus.
Dr. Kamara warns: "Children with the Zika virus usually have brain damage and resemble each other in some way. They have physical disabilities and are mostly limited in walking and talking. They all have small heads and are severely disabled . "
She said she came to Liberia in 2014 along with US volunteers and introduced employment and physical therapy into the country's health care. According to her, since the program was introduced in Liberia, she graduated in two classes, and they are involved in the treatment of people from all walks of life.
Dr. Kamara said she worked with the US Embassy in Monrovia, the American Cooperative School, the citizens of the United Nations (UN), and the Liberian municipalities, helping people get better health services.
As a result of Dr. Kamara's intervention, Little Emmanuel's mother studied and is now one of the labor clinics.
Dr. Kamara said that another mother recently visited the clinic with a child, suspected of suffering from the same virus, while claiming that the child suffers from "dragon" instead of the Zika virus.
"Our people are uneducated, so Liberia needs foreign partners, the Ministry of Health and public health experts, because only God knows what people with Zika children in the country are doing. fault of mother or father, but of nature, "he said.
Dr. Kamara is founder and CEO of C.E. Turkett Consultants, LLC. She is authorized to practice physical therapy in the United States. Former employee of the Emory Healthcare system in Atlanta, Georgia for over 10 years, she graduated from Rutgers University, New Jersey State University, and is currently a public health doctorate, specializing in epidemiology at the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at the Capella University, Minneapolis.