Health

Liberia faces increasing NCDI injury burden

A survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and stakeholders in the health sector as well as partners reveals that as Liberia’s population of 4.2 million recovers from the consequences of a series of civil wars (1989-2003) and the devastating Ebola viral disease outbreak (2014-2015) that took away several thousand lives (including health care workers), Liberia is now presented with new challenges in responding to threat of increasing non-communicable diseases and injury (NCDI) burden.


The report says in spite of gains made in addressing maternal health and communicable diseases, the rapid rise in NCDIs imposes great strain on the health system.

According to the report, as a result of past disruptions, systems and processes supporting the various sectors of the society were severely weakened. Yet in the health sector, we are strengthening our systems, with indicators pointing to humble but progressive improvement of health care services.

The report notes that despite World Health Organization’s (WHO) reports that NCD’s account for the 71 percent of deaths worldwide, NCD and injuries were entirely left out of the Millennium Development Goals.

The 2015 Summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held promise though, finally recognizing the NCDI burden as a major challenge for sustainable development in the 21st century and adopting NCDs as one of the key SDG targets to address in the ensuing fifteen years (2015-2030).

The report notes to achieve these targets, concerted efforts are needed with contribution of all disciplines and sectors nationally and support from civil society and global partners.

It indicates that with much work still ahead, the Liberian Ministry of Health (MOH) is taking significant steps to meet global NCDI goals. Under a newly established NCD Division, strategic instruments to guide and regulate Liberia’s national response to the disease burden are being developed.

The National NCD Policy and Strategic Plan (2016-2021) were launched, and additional guiding policies, such as a National Cancer Policy and Radiation Guidelines, are nearing completion.

The report also says clinical protocols are also being drafted, promising to offer needed guidance in provider’s clinical training and enhance the quality of care delivery in NCDI management.


As severe, chronic conditions, the Report stressed that NCDIs require significant investment by the patient, family, and society. Yet with 50.9 percent of Liberia’s population living in absolute poverty, as the 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) demonstrate, interventions are often financially out of reach of people.


The document says the MOH is proud to have constituted a group in partnership with the global Lancet Commission on Reframing NCDs and injuries for the poorest billion to highlight Liberia’s experience in responding to the rising global scourge of NCDIs.

Under the leadership of Doctor Fred Amegashie (MoH) and Doctor Jason Beste (PIH), the Liberia Communicable Disease and Injury (NCDI) has worked throughout 2017 to gather information to show the country’s NCD burden and intervention profile.


The Report indicates that, in 2016, NCDIs constituted an estimated 37.9 percent of Liberia’s total disease burden and 43.4 percent of all deaths, respectively.

“From our Commission’s findings, we see that increasing the percentage of our national health expenditure allocated to NCDs from the current 12 percent to 20 percent will reduce yearly premature deaths by 1,300 by the year 2030. As the Ministry of Health, we recognize the opportunity for action described in this report and are committed to do our part” the survey concludes.

--Editing by Jonathan Browne

PCOED donates to C.B. Dumbar hospital

A non-governmental organization, Professionals for Community Empowerment and Development (PCOED) donates 150 gallons of fuel and medical supplies to the C.B. Dumbar Maternity Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County.


Prior to the donation, the hospital had reportedly rationed electricity due to lack of fuel, surgical gloves and essential medications.PCOED, a non-for-profit, non-political and non-religious organization, is comprised of professional young men and women who have committed themselves to serve humanity.

In addition to the rescue operation at C.B. Dunbar Hospital, the organization also over the weekend donated 20 bags of rice and several cartoons of detergents to the hospital.

PCOED is also involved in several charitable initiatives in Grand Bassa, Margibi, Nimba and Montserrado Counties, respectively.Making the presentation on behalf of the organization, Executive Director, Francis Wallace, says the donation is the organization’s way of touching lives of sick and under- privileged people.

Director Wallace says the sole purpose of his organization is to give back to needy in society, noting that the gesture is a shared commitment to serve humanity.
Receiving the items, one of the medical doctors at the hospital, Aker Jason Bleah notes the gesture came at the time they are desperately needed.

Doctor Bleah, who deputized for the hospital management, says the entity is grateful for the gesture and assures the items will be used for the intended purpose.
The presentation ceremony was graced by hospital staff, patients and several onlookers.

By Bridgett Milton -Editing by Jonathan Browne

PCOED donates to C.B. Dumbar hospital

A non-governmental organization, Professionals for Community Empowerment and Development (PCOED) donates 150 gallons of fuel and medical supplies to the C.B. Dumbar Maternity Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County.


Prior to the donation, the hospital had reportedly rationed electricity due to lack of fuel, surgical gloves and essential medications. PCOED, a non-for-profit, non-political and non-religious organization, is comprised of professional young men and women who have committed themselves to serve humanity.

In addition to the rescue operation at C.B. Dunbar Hospital, the organization also over the weekend donated 20 bags of rice and several cartoons of detergents to the hospital.

PCOED is also involved in several charitable initiatives in Grand Bassa, Margibi, Nimba and Montserrado Counties, respectively. Making the presentation on behalf of the organization, Executive Director, Francis Wallace, says the donation is the organization’s way of touching lives of sick and under- privileged people.

Director Wallace says the sole purpose of his organization is to give back to needy in society, noting that the gesture is a shared commitment to serve humanity.Receiving the items, one of the medical doctors at the hospital, Aker Jason Bleah notes the gesture came at the time they are desperately needed.

Doctor Bleah, who deputized for the hospital management, says the entity is grateful for the gesture and assures the items will be used for the intended purpose.
The presentation ceremony was graced by hospital staff, patients and several onlookers.

By Bridgett Milton `--Editing by Jonathan Browne

No Ebola cases at JFK Hospital

The Management of the JFK Medical Center terms as irresponsible, regrettable, and terrible, unfounded rumors being circulated here in the public and on Facebook of a confirmed Ebola patient at the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia.


The rumors and subsequent clarification followed recent report of the discovery of a new strain of Ebola virus in the northern Sierra Leone identified as ‘Bombali virus’ found in fruits eating bats. It has potential to infect human beings, according to researchers.

But in a press release, the JFK Management clarifies at no recent time has the hospital received and or diagnosed any suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease as it is being rumored.

“This is indeed Fake news geared to instill fear and distrust in our facilities. We are incredibly saddened by such damaging propaganda towards the healthcare delivery center”, the release reads.

It notes that recent relocation of patients to the newly renovated Emergency room facilities is due to creation of bed spaces secondary to recent renovation of the Emergency Room as indicated in the hospital’s 150-day deliverable projects.

The Management reassures the public that efforts to make JFK the Hospital of Choice remain unhindered and irresistible, as it continues upgrade of facilities and recruitment of Specialists to help in providing comprehensive healthcare to the public irrespective of status and affiliation.

Meanwhile, the JFK Management urges the public to verify whatever information it intends to publish or broadcast, as such information may not only damage the image of State-run Institutions but also create panic in the country.

It assures the public that any confirmed cases of Ebola at the Medical Center will be immediately communicated to the relevant authority, including management of such case and protection of patients at the Medical Center. Press Release

No Ebola cases at JFK Hospital

The Management of the JFK Medical Center terms as irresponsible, regrettable, and terrible, unfounded rumors being circulated here in the public and on Facebook of a confirmed Ebola patient at the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia.


The rumors and subsequent clarification followed recent report of the discovery of a new strain of Ebola virus in the northern Sierra Leone identified as ‘Bombali virus’ found in fruits eating bats. It has potential to infect human beings, according to researchers.

But in a press release, the JFK Management clarifies at no recent time has the hospital received and or diagnosed any suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease as it is being rumored.

“This is indeed Fake news geared to instill fear and distrust in our facilities. We are incredibly saddened by such damaging propaganda towards the healthcare delivery center”, the release reads.

It notes that recent relocation of patients to the newly renovated Emergency room facilities is due to creation of bed spaces secondary to recent renovation of the Emergency Room as indicated in the hospital’s 150-day deliverable projects.

The Management reassures the public that efforts to make JFK the Hospital of Choice remain unhindered and irresistible, as it continues upgrade of facilities and recruitment of Specialists to help in providing comprehensive healthcare to the public irrespective of status and affiliation.

Meanwhile, the JFK Management urges the public to verify whatever information it intends to publish or broadcast, as such information may not only damage the image of State-run Institutions but also create panic in the country.

It assures the public that any confirmed cases of Ebola at the Medical Center will be immediately communicated to the relevant authority, including management of such case and protection of patients at the Medical Center. Press Release

No Ebola cases at JFK Hospital

The Management of the JFK Medical Center terms as irresponsible, regrettable, and terrible, unfounded rumors being circulated here in the public and on Facebook of a confirmed Ebola patient at the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia.


The rumors and subsequent clarification followed recent report of the discovery of a new strain of Ebola virus in the northern Sierra Leone identified as ‘Bombali virus’ found in fruits eating bats. It has potential to infect human beings, according to researchers.

But in a press release, the JFK Management clarifies at no recent time has the hospital received and or diagnosed any suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease as it is being rumored.

“This is indeed Fake news geared to instill fear and distrust in our facilities. We are incredibly saddened by such damaging propaganda towards the healthcare delivery center”, the release reads.

It notes that recent relocation of patients to the newly renovated Emergency room facilities is due to creation of bed spaces secondary to recent renovation of the Emergency Room as indicated in the hospital’s 150-day deliverable projects.

The Management reassures the public that efforts to make JFK the Hospital of Choice remain unhindered and irresistible, as it continues upgrade of facilities and recruitment of Specialists to help in providing comprehensive healthcare to the public irrespective of status and affiliation.

Meanwhile, the JFK Management urges the public to verify whatever information it intends to publish or broadcast, as such information may not only damage the image of State-run Institutions but also create panic in the country.

It assures the public that any confirmed cases of Ebola at the Medical Center will be immediately communicated to the relevant authority, including management of such case and protection of patients at the Medical Center. Press Release

IAEA to establish radiation safety regulatory center here

The Minister of Health Doctor Williamina Jallah lauds the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for its thought to establish a radiation safety regulatory infrastructure in Liberia.


Radiation contains sources with electromagnetic radiation used for diagnostic purposes, medicine for cancer treatment and in industry to verify quality of road construction, among others. Minister Jallah says need for the establishment of the radiation safety regulatory infrastructure in the country cannot be overemphasized.

According to a press release, she notes that Liberia has been part of the IAEA since 1962 something, she says many people do not know.The release discloses that Minister Jallah made the statement recently at the start f a four-day workshop on the establishment of Radiation Safety Regulatory Infrastructure held at the Ministry of Health in Oldest Congo Town.

The workshop was sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH),bringing together over 50 participants from government line ministries, civil society organizations and university students.

Minister Jallah encouraged the participants to take the workshop seriously to enable them understand why establishing radiation safety and security infrastructure in Liberia is important.

She expresses hope that the visit of the IAEA advisory mission to the country would yield result.For his part, the head of delegation of the IAEA advisory mission to Liberia Dariusz Mroz says the organization has plan to assist Liberia in building and strengthening safety infrastructure for the control of sources of ionizing radiation that are used in medicine, industry and agriculture.

According to the head of delegation, the visit is a follow-up to similar mission that took place in 2016, adding that the role of the advisory mission is to find out how the recommendation of the 2016 mission has been implemented in Liberia in order to control radiation sources. Mroz discloses that the advisory team comprised of four experts. Press Release

Phebe paramedics program graduates 97 health care workers

The Phebe Paramedical Training Program (PTP) in Bong County on Tuesday, July 24, 2017 graduated 97 candidates after completing three years of study. The graduates were awarded Diplomas during the 37th Commencement Exercises of PTP held at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on the Phebe Hospital Compound in Suakoko, Bong County.


These 97 trained mid-level health care providers graduated from five of the six medical disciplines including, Professional Midwifery – 33, Nurse Midwifery- 3, Certified Midwifery Bridging- 9, Professional Nursing Program- 34, and Medical Laboratory Technology Programs- 18.

Presenting the graduates to the Medical Director of the Phebe Hospital, the Director of the Phebe Training Programs, Humphrey G. Loweal reflected on the achievements of the institution over the years in developing the Liberia’s health workforce as Pre-Service Institution. He commended the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) Human Resources for Health (HRH) for making so much difference in the life of the Institution over the past three years and assures that what has been achieved is not lost. In addition to the school’s achievements “PTP is today making another history by graduating for the first time, four females from the Medical Laboratory Technology Program. He added that the institution was also graduating the second Male Nurse Midwife since the program restarted making the number male nurse midwife in Liberia to two”.

Graduate Josephine Jarbo of the Nurse-Midwifery Program was honored for performing the highest number of live deliveries (232) over a period of 18 months while a female graduate from the Medical Laboratory Technology Program, received the most discipline student award.

Serving as Guest Speaker at the 2018 PTP Graduation convocation, the President, Nurses Association of Liberia Mrs. Gloria Stevens challenged the graduates to be passionate about their jobs when providing health care to “your patients”; adding; “make sure their health care needs are met with the highest of standards as you provide quality care according to international standards within a national framework”. She reminded the graduates that now “you are graduating”, you have to strive for your voice to come forth on the table. Inspire others to join the profession by the valuable services you provide your clients and the quality of your work; “we encourage you to be part of your professional association” and promote the work of health care provider throughout Liberia.

Making remarks, the Maternal and Child Survival Program, Country Director, Anne Fiedler spoke about the impact that USAID donations have had on improving the quality of training Mid-level Health care workers. She added that graduating students had the opportunity to have benefited from the improved teaching and learning environment due to the MCSP HRH support.

MCSP HRH assigned Midwifery Mentor also served as Masters of Ceremony and kept the program lively; making sure that everyone felt a part of the graduation exercise.

Several notable attendees gave remarks at the event including; Bong County Health Officer, Representatives of Nursing/Midwifery Institutions, Liberian Nurses Association, Liberian Midwifery Association, Liberia Association of Medical Laboratory Technologist, and Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery. Others who made remarks included; Phebe Board of Trustee, Lutheran Church of Liberia, NGO Partner Representatives.

The Phebe Paramedical Training Program is one of the six Pre-Service Training Institutions being supported by the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) a global effort to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes funded by USAID as its primary support to the MOH National Health Workforce Program for increasing the quality and quantity of human resources for health.

MCSP works alongside the Government of Liberia and partners to strengthen health services. MCSP/HRH is working to improve health workforce readiness, with a focus on reinforcing entry-level Registered Midwives and Medical Laboratory Technicians’ Pre-Service Education. With USAID support the MCSP HRH Project focuses on improving health workers performance and delivery of services in building a fit-for-purpose productive and motivated health workforce that equitably and optimally delivers quality services by implementing key activities including, development of leadership and management, as well as, faculty and preceptors, curriculum revision and update, improving skills and computer labs, updating library and strengthening clinical site in evidence based practice.

Phebe Paramedical Training Program Graduates Ninety-seven Mid-level Health Care Workers

The Phebe Paramedical Training Program (PTP) in Bong County on Tuesday, July 24, 2017 graduated 97 candidates after completing three years of study. The graduates were awarded Diplomas during the 37th Commencement Exercises of PTP held at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on the Phebe Hospital Compound in Suakoko, Bong County.


These 97 trained mid-level health care providers graduated from five of the six medical disciplines including, Professional Midwifery – 33, Nurse Midwifery- 3, Certified Midwifery Bridging- 9, Professional Nursing Program- 34, and Medical Laboratory Technology Programs- 18.

Presenting the graduates to the Medical Director of the Phebe Hospital, the Director of the Phebe Training Programs, Humphrey G. Loweal reflected on the achievements of the institution over the years in developing the Liberia’s health workforce as Pre-Service Institution. He commended the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) Human Resources for Health (HRH) for making so much difference in the life of the Institution over the past three years and assures that what has been achieved is not lost. In addition to the school’s achievements “PTP is today making another history by graduating for the first time, four females from the Medical Laboratory Technology Program. He added that the institution was also graduating the second Male Nurse Midwife since the program restarted making the number male nurse midwife in Liberia to two”.

Graduate Josephine Jarbo of the Nurse-Midwifery Program was honored for performing the highest number of live deliveries (232) over a period of 18 months while a female graduate from the Medical Laboratory Technology Program, received the most discipline student award.

Serving as Guest Speaker at the 2018 PTP Graduation convocation, the President, Nurses Association of Liberia Mrs. Gloria Stevens challenged the graduates to be passionate about their jobs when providing health care to “your patients”; adding; “make sure their health care needs are met with the highest of standards as you provide quality care according to international standards within a national framework”. She reminded the graduates that now “you are graduating”, you have to strive for your voice to come forth on the table. Inspire others to join the profession by the valuable services you provide your clients and the quality of your work; “we encourage you to be part of your professional association” and promote the work of health care provider throughout Liberia.

Making remarks, the Maternal and Child Survival Program, Country Director, Anne Fiedler spoke about the impact that USAID donations have had on improving the quality of training Mid-level Health care workers. She added that graduating students had the opportunity to have benefited from the improved teaching and learning environment due to the MCSP HRH support.

MCSP HRH assigned Midwifery Mentor also served as Masters of Ceremony and kept the program lively; making sure that everyone felt a part of the graduation exercise.

Several notable attendees gave remarks at the event including; Bong County Health Officer, Representatives of Nursing/Midwifery Institutions, Liberian Nurses Association, Liberian Midwifery Association, Liberia Association of Medical Laboratory Technologist, and Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery. Others who made remarks included; Phebe Board of Trustee, Lutheran Church of Liberia, NGO Partner Representatives.

The Phebe Paramedical Training Program is one of the six Pre-Service Training Institutions being supported by the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) a global effort to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes funded by USAID as its primary support to the MOH National Health Workforce Program for increasing the quality and quantity of human resources for health.

MCSP works alongside the Government of Liberia and partners to strengthen health services. MCSP/HRH is working to improve health workforce readiness, with a focus on reinforcing entry-level Registered Midwives and Medical Laboratory Technicians’ Pre-Service Education. With USAID support the MCSP HRH Project focuses on improving health workers performance and delivery of services in building a fit-for-purpose productive and motivated health workforce that equitably and optimally delivers quality services by implementing key activities including, development of leadership and management, as well as, faculty and preceptors, curriculum revision and update, improving skills and computer labs, updating library and strengthening clinical site in evidence based practice.

Hospital mistake cripples baby

The parents of a kid roughly a month old are seeking government’s intervention in a medical case involving Redemption Hospital and John F. Kennedy Medical Center in which their baby’s leg could be amputated.


According to the kid’s uncle Lusene V. Sesay, the child’s mother Aminate Doubuyah gave birth to the baby at the Redemption Medical Hospital on 9 June. Upon the birth of the baby, the uncle narrates that the doctor and nurses at the Redemption Hospital noticed that the baby was not crying and as a result of this, they decided to administer a drip on the baby's left foot.

During the administration of the drip, the family of the baby narrates through its counsel that the medical practitioners tied the leg of the baby with a rubber hand glove and went in search of the vein.

In the process, they say the nurses attempted on several part of the baby's foot to locate his vein, causing severe pain for the baby.During the search, the family says the nurses wrongly inserted the needle into the baby's foot and discharged the drip which at certain point of time stopped flowing into the baby's foot.

They say it caused absolute coldness and swelling of the victim’s foot. When the mother became concerned, she says she informed the nurses at which time they came and closed the drip and left the round rubber and needle wrongly inserted into the baby's foot.

The family say when nurses fail to locate the baby’s vein, they cut the baby's hair and finally inserted the needle there and administered the drip.They say it caused the victim’s foot to change color from blue to green and finally to black, leaving the baby's toes dead.

According to the family, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jude recommended that the baby's foot be amputated, saying they have to refer the case to JFK Medical Hospital which they did along with a report.The family says the report according to JFK Medical Hospital said the baby was born with that problem, but the family dispute the claim as misleading.

It notes the JFK Medical Hospital has allegedly abandoned the baby too, but has allegedly been pressurizing the family to sign a consent note to amputate the child without conducting any x-ray to tell the family about the current condition of the baby.

The family’s legal team says it has called the Administrator of Redemption Hospital, requesting a comprehensive report and the name and information of the particular drug administered on the baby’s foot and the purpose of recommending amputation of the baby’s leg.The legal team says it also called the both hospitals to a conference on Monday 9, July 2018 at 2:30 pm, but only JFK showed up.

By Sally Gaye--Edited by Winston W. Parley

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