Conflict, Ebola intensify Mental Disorder in Liberia

The Vice President and Chairman of the Liberia Chapter of the West African College of Physicians, Dr. Rose Jallah Macualey, says mental disorder is a global problem, particularly in Liberia, where the situation has been exacerbated by prolonged armed conflict and the Ebola epidemic.

Speaking on Friday, 23 June at the first Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) and the 10th Edition of the Dr. Joseph Nagbe Togbah Memorial Lecture Series of the home chapter under the Theme, “Mental Health - An unrecognized Emergency in Liberia”, Dr. Macualey notes that mental health has become an emergency because it has been neglected over the years.

According to her, the AGSM provides an opportunity to highlight the problem and elevate advocacy so that government and development partners would treat mental disorders here as an emergency by prioritizing it in their policies, programs and budgets.

She recalls that the West African College of Physicians was formally inaugurated in Lagos, Nigeria, on October 23, 1973 with Liberia as a founding member, adding that unfortunately, the Liberian Chapter has remained a small chapter in terms of number of fellows.

Dr. Macualey however points out that though Liberia is a small chapter, fellows and members here continue to work hard to perform as well or even better than some of the bigger chapters, noting “Our chapter hosted a very successful 40th AGSM of the College in Liberia last November.”

“Our colleagues from other countries tell us that each time Liberia hosts the AGSM, we raise the bar, the Liberia Chapter is grateful to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health for the support we continue to receive”, she expresses.

She explains that the Dr. Joseph Nagbe Togbah Memorial Lecture Series has be held by the Liberia Chapter of the West African College of Physicians for nine consecutive years in recognition of his numerous contributions to medical education in Liberia.

Speaking also, an official of the West African Postgraduate College Pharmacies Dr. Hasipha C. Tarpeh, lauds the West African College of Physicians for highlighting the plight of people with mental disorder.

He notes that mental health the world over is a challenge and needs serious attention, noting that Liberia as a country walking out of the ashes of the Ebola epidemic with the task to building a resilient health system is no exception to the world’s challenge.

Dr. Tarpeh furthered that research has proven that mental health is a serious concern in Liberia as evidenced by the increased number of cases, needless to overemphasize the emergency nature of current situation.“The fight against this emergency requires joint effort with the support of the potential partners and well-wishers alike”, he concludes.

-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Health Workers Demand Risk benefits

Members of the National Health workers Association of Liberia have urged the Government of Liberia and partners in the fight against Ebola to settle the risk benefits of health workers across the country.

They also stressed the urgent need for response benefits for their work during the heat of the Ebola crisis, indicating that the government must also ensure that the fifty five dollars being deducted from their salaries be repaid.

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Mother of triplet appeals for help

A 27-year-old mother of triplet in Grand Kru County is calling on national government and humanitarian organizations for assistance for the survival of her kids.

Speaking to the NewDawn on Wednesday, May 10th, in Sasstown, Grand Kru County, Madam Cecelia Weufree, who gave birth to a triplet in November, 2016, is appealing for financial assistance, lamenting that her current economic status cannot enable her to care for the babies and they risk dying.

The subsistence farmer gave birth to three girls the Dr. Doemu Nimely Memorial Hospital in Sasstown, Jroa Statutory District. She has been struggling with the infants from the day of their birth.

The mother of the six months old triplets says she is finding it difficult these days despite all efforts by her and her poor husband to provide their kids. “We hardly find food to eat and I am breastfeeding three kids, which is very dangerous to my health and the kids too, so I am calling on people to please help me”, she pleads.

Appearing very hungry and exhausted, she says initially after giving birth to the triplet, some residents came to her aid, but presently no one wants to see her or even help in catering to the kids.

“I am just praying for God to send someone to come to my aid to save the lives of these kids because I do not know whether they will become President, Minister, or hold other positions in government that will serve Liberia, so I am praying for God to save their lives.

By George K. Momo/ Maryland-”Editing by Jonathan Browne

US$6m for Health Sector

The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health, has disclosed that Six Million United States Dollars will be used to restore Public health facilities across the country. Some will also go to private health facilities.

Deputy Health Minister Saye D. Baawo said following the restoration basis health services at all public hospitals,

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Ellen Hails Outgoing UN Rep on Ebola

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described the work of outgoing Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response or UNMEER, Anthony Banbury, as excellent and very supportive of the country's fight to contain the deadly Ebola virus disease.

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LFAM trains 51 mid-wives

An international non-governmental organization, Life for African Mothers (LFAM) has completed the training of 51 local midwives in in Monrovia. Life for African Mothers is a Maternal Health charity group aiming to make birth safer in Sub Saharan Africa, by providing medication to treat eclampsia and post-partum hemorrhage.

By providing medication to treat the complications of child birth, LFAM has been able to support hospitals and health centers across Africa and see huge reductions in maternal mortality. The four days intensive midwifery training started on Monday February 13-17, 2017 at the association headquarters on 9th Street. The trainings were conducted by four professional midwives from the UK, including, the head of the team, Marie Lee To, Becky Woodman and Detta Lee.

The Country Director of Life for African Mothers (LFAM) Abdul-rahman Bah reemphasized the need to train more midwives in Liberia as to help curtail the high risk of maternal mortality in the country.

He cautioned the participants of the workshop training to put the knowledge acquired into proper use as to help save the lives of mothers and their children at birth.Mr. Bah urged the 51 midwives to extend the education gained from the expatriates to their colleagues who were not selected for the training.

LFAM boss acknowledged the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) for the funding, stating without them, “this project would not be possible”. According to him, the sponsorship of NOCAL is vital in improving the skills of midwives in Liberia, which he believed will minimize deaths at birth in the country.
He said NOCAL support enable the organization to conduct training for Liberian midwives and provides the necessary skills for midwives in order to save the lives of mothers and their kids at birth.

He disclosed that the partnership is targeting 508 midwives in six counties, including Montserrado, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
However, he revealed that this week, LFAM will travel to Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties to conduct training for midwives who resides there.
Meanwhile, the head professional midwives from the UK , Marie Lee To extolled the midwives for the high level of intelligence exemplified during the training.
According to her, for her observation and interaction with the local midwives, she believed Liberia got some qualified midwives who can work to save lives.
The team leader noted that the midwives need motivation to their work at the various assigned areas.
At the sametime, LFAM Consultant Helen Loewenstein applauded the midwives who who left their busy schedules to come acquire the basic al skills to enable them perform their professional duties.
Miss Loewenstein noted that the organization`s aim is to share lifesaving skills in obstetric and maternity care in an effort to reduce maternal mortality in Liberia.
She said midwives in Liberia face some of the world most challenging conditions and they deserve recognition and admiration for their difficult work in the face of such difficulties.
“Every woman has the right to a safe birth and we hope that by using and sharing the skills the midwives have learnt, the lives of many women and babies will be saved,” she said.

No funds for Ebola survivors

-Tolbert Nyenswah

Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services and head for the Incidence Management System, Tolbert Nyenswah, says there is no financial allotment for Ebola survivors in the country.

Mr. Nyenswah told reporters Wednesday, 7 January at the James Spriggs Payne Airport in Sinkor, Monrovia that due to lack of funds the authorities here have made no allotment to take care of survivors of the Ebola Virus.

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Health workers demand 2 months salaries

Workers at the Unity Conference Center Ebola Treatment Unit in Virginia, Montserrado County have staged a protest in demand of salaries for November and December, 2014.

A spokesperson for the aggrieved workers, Daniel Wonee, told The NewDawn Tuesday that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare instructed them to open accounts with Access Bank and GT Bank in Monrovia where their monthly salary will be transferred for payment, but after they did, the money has not be placed into their accounts.

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Survivors protest discrimination, stigmatization

The Ebola Survivors Association of Liberia or ESAL has seriously complained of continuous discrimination and stigmatization against its members across Liberia.

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U.S. Senator on Ebola follow-up to Liberia

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is expected here this week on an Ebola follow-up, which will partly to remind the American people that an Ebola epidemic is still going on, Coons told US reporters Monday. His visit will be on the heels of the head of the U.S. Center for Disease Control or CDC Dr. Tom Frieden who paid a courtesy call on President Sirleaf Friday.

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