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Editorial

A sad day at JFK Hospital

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CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED to Tuesday’s (May 30) fire at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, razing down the entire National Drugs Service, the nation’s only drugs deposit, and a laboratory, remain a complete mystery here, particularly amidst reported probe of a recent disappearance of huge consignment of drugs from the NDS warehouse.


THE JFK MANAGEMENT issued a press statement in Monrovia Wednesday, regretting the fire incident involving both the laboratory and medical supplies warehouse of the National Drugs Service (NDS) and clarified that though the JFK Medical Center houses the National Drugs Service, no components of the Memorial and the Maternity Hospitals were affected by the fire.

THE RELEASE SAYS the cause of the fire incident remains unknown, but the hospital is equally working with the relevant authorities to control the situation, and calls on the public not to panic and to further desist from spreading rumors.

HOWEVER, OUR INTEREST is drawn to report that huge consignment of drugs allegedly disappeared from the medical supplies warehouse recently for which management has initiated a probe.
In the midst of the ongoing investigation, the entire warehouse, including offices are razed by a mysterious fire, effectively destroying paper trails and other pieces of material evidence that could have assisted the process.

SOMETHING SEEMS TO smell here, involving the alleged disappearance of drugs, the reported probe, and now the mysterious fire. Clearly, these sequential happenings are likely to undermine outcome of any probe, particularly the drugs disappearance, which some insider sources have hinted this paper, is an old-age problem.

BUT THE SAD news for the entire health system is that this is going to seriously affect hospitals, health centers and clinics across the country, specifically institutions operated by the government, as the issue of regular supplies would now become an even bigger challenge.

THE NDS HAS until Tuesday’s mysterious fire incident, remained the only depository for all drugs brought into the country by the government and its partners. For it to have been gutted by fire is not only regrettable, but highly frustrating for our people. In the short run, impact of this episode would have serious adverse consequences for citizens across the country.

WE CALL ON both the Ministry of Health and the entire JFK Management to put in place an emergency plan that would ensure that essential drugs are available to meet the health needs of our citizens and the public at large or else, the unforeseen repercussion may be very catastrophic!

WHILE INVESTIGATIONS ARE ongoing for both the alleged disappearance of drugs and the mysterious fire, we believe these are immediate steps that should be taken to stabilize the situation. Lest we should forget as a nation, a stitch in time saves nine.

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