By: Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr., Margibi County
Fire has destroyed the Charles Henry Rennie Hospital, popularly known as C. H. Rennie Hospital in Margibi County, leaving thousands of impoverished residents who cannot afford to go to private hospitals hopeless.
The incident occurred at about 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 15, 2021, forcing hospital authorities to transfer in-patients to other health facilities in Kakata and Bong County.
No casualty has been reported but major components of the hospital, including the emergency response room, pharmacy, administrative offices, and the records room are destroyed completely.
County Health Officer Dr. Augustine Fannieh blames the incident on an electrical fault. Hundreds of Margibians rushed on the scene in the Walker Farm Community where the hospital is located and made frantic efforts to off the fire but to no avail.
The Margibi County Fire Service was not visible to fight the fire, safe intervention by Firestone Liberia Fire Service which lately arrived at the C. H. Rennie Compound, but the fire had already consumed the building hosting the hospital.
Upon the arrival of the Firestone fire truck, angry citizens unleashed mob action, damaging the fire truck for what they claimed late arrival.
However, Liberia’s Minister of Health, doctor Wilhelmina S. Jallah held an emergency meeting with hospital authorities and the county health team to find a way forward.
Following the meeting, Minister Jallah said the hospital is considered closed for about a week beginning Sunday, August 15, 2021, pending an assessment to ascertain the next course of action.
Margibi County District#3 Representative Ellen Attoh Wreh, whose district hosts the hospital, expresses serious frustration about the fire disaster and calls on residents of the county to remain calm as authorities and relevant stakeholders collaborate to find a way forward.
Thousands of Margibians are expressing dismay over the incident, wondering where they will refer cases from other health centers in the county at minimum cost, as Du-Side Hospital in Harbel is privately owned and operated by Firestone Liberia Plantations.
A government-owned, the C. H. Rennie Hospital has been a major referral health facility not only for the people of Margibi but adjacent counties.
Meanwhile, the Unity Party says it is saddened by two fire incidents that occurred on August 13 and 15 in Montserrado and Margibi Counties respectively.
The in a press release party empathizes with victims of the Water Street tragedy which left many properties destroyed and robbed many families of their source of income. The UP further sympathizes with the people of Margibi County whose only referral hospital was gutted by fire early Sunday morning. The party sends out its regrets to those affected by these unfortunate incidents.
The UP acknowledges the efforts made by the National Fire Service to prevent the fire from spreading to a lot more properties and businesses in the Waterside incident and notes with dismay the lack of its presence in Margibi. It, therefore, calls on the Government of Liberia to improve budgetary allocations and other support to the National Fire Service to improve its response capacity.
The Party also calls on the government to provide compensation to business people who lost their businesses in the fire incident as well as urgently renovate the CH Rennie Hospital and restore it to full capacity.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/c-h-rennie-hospital-suffers-high-maternal-mortality/ Editing by Jonathan Browne