Liberia: Govt, Bomi Residents Collaborate for 24/7 Quality Health Service Delivery￼
BOMI – In an effort to deliver quality health service to the people of Klay District in Bomi County, the United Organization of Klay in the Americas(UNOKLAYA) Inc and the Government of Liberia have come to a memorandum of understanding for the smooth operation of the Klay Medical Center.
During a citizens engagement meeting which was held on Thursday July 7,2022 in Klay, the chief medical officer of Bomi County, Dr. Jackson thanks the citizens for buttressing the effort of central government to deliver quality health care service to their community.
According to her, it was her very first time to see citizens collaborating with central government for the running of a health center in the country.
Dr. Jackson pledged to do very thing in her authority to equipped the Klay Medical Center with some of her best nurses, PAs and medicine to enable it be the second biggest health facility in Bomi County.
Also speaking at the one day citizens engagement was the Superintendent of Bomi County, Honorable Adama C. Robinson who also promised to work closely with the citizens of Klay & the County Health Team to maintain the 24/7 hour operation of the health medical facility which is going to prevent citizens of the township from dying of some of the ordinary diseases.
Klay Township is have about 10,000 residents and has been without a functional medical facility since the end of the rebel jail President Charles Taylor war, a situation that has made it very challenging and almost impossible for citizens in the area to access affordable medical service.
With this memorandum of understanding between the local residents and the government of Liberia, citizens will no longer had to travel several miles from their villages to access treatment.
During the engagement, many of the citizens cautioned government to allocate more resources to the facility as they commence 24/7 hour operation in the coming weeks,on that many of the government run medical facilities in the country are not delivering quality health service because of
Country’s weak healthcare system due to pre-existing structural vulnerabilities such as inadequate infrastructure and a poorly motivated workforce with limited training, exposing the system’s fragility and vulnerability.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, many health facilities closed and healthcare professionals who contracted the virus while caring for patients lost their lives.
Liberia is a low-income country, and healthcare statistics reflect the country’s low level of development. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the average life expectancy (at birth) at around 60 years, the maternal mortality rate at 640 per 100,000 live births, and infant (under five) mortality rate at 71 deaths per 1,000 live births. Liberia has some of the highest prevalence rates for malaria and tuberculosis in Africa. There are sporadic outbreaks of other infectious diseases with high fatality rates, such as meningitis, Lassa fever, and other viral hemorrhagic fevers, which are required to be reported according to international health protocols. Communicable waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and shigella are common in Liberia, particularly during the six-month rainy season. Serious medical conditions require emergency evacuation outside Liberia for adequate treatment.
Liberia’s national medical center is the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, which is composed of John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Maternity Hospital, the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (a paramedical and nursing school), and the Catherine Mills Rehabilitation Hospital (a psychiatric care facility that is currently operating). Currently, JFK serves as the nation’s largest referral hospital financed entirely by the government and international donors.
Liberia’s healthcare system depends heavily on international donor support. Many healthcare facilities are run by the government, donors, or through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including faith-based organizations. Generally, there is minimal private sector involvement in the health sector. In the national budgets for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19, the government appropriated 14% and 13%, respectively, to the health sector.
The sector is constrained by weak supply chain management, particularly in terms of distribution and storage of pharmaceuticals and other supplies, as well as limited human resources, particularly in terms of doctors, specialists, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians. There is limited availability of essential genuine medical equipment and pharmaceutical products, and there are frequently reported stock outages, especially in areas of the country not currently supported by international donor agencies.
The general weakness of Liberia’s healthcare system means that there are numerous fields that could benefit from U.S. investment. For instance, the limited capacity translates into ample investment opportunities such as provision of health facilities, medical logistics and equipment, training of laboratory technicians, midwives, and pharmacists, as well as provision of reliable medical supplies to community-based health centers. Investment opportunities include health system strengthening through education, training, capacity building, and skill development programs. There are also opportunities in providing specialized equipment to healthcare providers targeting the expatriate community, including diagnostic and critical care equipment such as ultrasound, MRI, electrocardiography, advanced life support equipment, and digital x-ray machines.
With the above challenges the health sector in Liberia is with and Klay Medical Facility is no exception, the local residents encouraged their sons & daughters in the diaspora to continue the great job they are doing back home.
The one engagement was grace by the County Health Team, County Superintendent, District Commissioner, Chiefs, Traditional Leaders, Youths, Women, and members of the joint security.