The West African country was the site where the original Ebola chain of transmission began two years ago. A menacing disease, it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and seven additional countries. According to the New York Times, the December 2013 Ebola outbreak led to its largest epidemic in history—taking more than 11,300 lives worldwide.
WHO notes that over 40 days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola tested negative for a second time (which was after an incubation period). Further, Guinea is under a 90-day surveillance period to identify and treat new cases of the virus.
Still, WHO doctors remain hopeful.
“This is the first time that all three countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—have stopped the original chains of transmission that were responsible for starting this devastating outbreak two years ago,” says Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joined U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac to dedicate a newly constructed 25-bed field hospital to be used solely for the treatment of healthcare workers who may become infected by the Ebola virus disease.
The construction of the field hospital was financed by the U.S. government and implemented jointly by the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
The dedication of the facility took place in Charlesville, Liberia, near the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County today.
Speaking during the ceremony, President Sirleaf described the United States as a partner which recognizes and responds to the needs of the Liberian people and that the fruit of the partnership reaches out to the people it is meant to benefit.
The Liberian leader praised healthcare workers for their sacrificial services to the country and its people by confronting a disease they knew very little about and expressed happiness that those of them who may be infected can now receive quality care and treatment with a high hope of survival.
Ever wonder how a single act of kindness can prompt a domino effect of others? Meet Lysa Terkeurst, a mom of three girls, whose decision to adopt two members of a boys choir from war-torn Liberia has prompted several other families from her North Carolina community to do the same.
“These 12 beautiful boys from the other side of the world got up and started to sing from the depth of their soul, just the most beautiful music,” Terkeurst who lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, told TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager. “I was very challenged by the reality that these boys who had been singing and smiling and just had such joy in their life, that they had nothing.”
In the 10 years since Terkeurst’s decision to adopt two of the boys — Mark, who was 13 at the time and Jackson, who was 14 and had lived in an orphanage since the age of six after his parents were murdered — 45 other children have been adopted from the same orphanage, including fellow members of the boys choir that originally stole Terkeurst’s heart. Watch video above for the rest of this heartwarming story.
Women’s rights activists share 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. (Getty)
CNN is reporting that three women’s rights activists have received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize award. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, along with activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, were awarded the prize “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and forwomen’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” the Nobel committee said.
“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.”
Jan Egeland of Human Rights Watch told CNN that the Nobel committee had come up with a great prize that merged the efforts of Liberian women in achieving “momentous change” in their country with the vital role of women in the ongoing Arab Spring movement.
Rights group Amnesty International said the award would encourage women everywhere to continue fighting for their rights.
Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s 72-year-old president and Africa’s first elected female head of state, told CNN she was very excited about the prize, which she said was shared by all of her country’s people.
“I’m accepting this on behalf of the Liberian people, so credit goes to them,” she said. “For the past eight years, we have had peace, and each and every one of them has contributed to this peace.”
She said the peace that had ended 14 years of civil war should be attributed to the country’s women.
Congratulations to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state; Leymah Gbowee; and Tawakkul Karman for not only talking the talk but also walking the walk. The only thing more wonderful than when words and deeds match up is being acknowledged and honored for it.