Protesting residents of Tappita district, Lower Nimba County resist the removal of brain or neurosurgery equipment from the Jackson Faih Doe Memorial Hospital in the district, holding the only brain surgeon at the facility, Doctor Alvin Nah Doe hostage.
The aggrieved Tappita citizens’ action is based on information they gathered that the only neurosurgery machine at the hospital was to be transferred to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia.
The resistance was allegedly organized by local authorities of Tappita headed by district superintendent, Aubrey Wehyee, who allegedly ordered youth in the area to resist the removal of the only machine currently in Liberia.
A high-level delegation from Monrovia had gone to Tappita with a helicopter to get the machine from the hospital when news hit the citizens, causing them to mobilize themselves into two groups – one barricading the hospital while the other took to the airstrip to set the helicopter ablaze.
A team of foreign doctors from Canada is reportedly expected in Liberia to perform month-long neurosurgeries at the JFK hospital in Monrovia.
The citizens’ resistance brought normal activities at the hospital to a standstill with the only brain surgeon there, Doctor Alvin Nah Doe held hostage by the angry crowd for fear that he (Doctor Doe) could smuggle the equipment out of the hospital.
The machine in question requires 24 hours power to operate, but the Jackson Fiah Doe Hospital faces fuel shortage.
Prior to the incident, authorities of the hospital had appeared on community local radio station in Tappita, informing citizens about the arrival of a delegation from the JFK Hospital in Monrovia to borrow said equipment for one-month’s operation after which it would be returned.
An insider at the hospital confirms the incident, but clarifies that the operation at the JFK in Monrovia for 17 days, not one month, adding that the Ministry of Health is intervening in the disturbances at Jackson Fiah Doe.
According to research, neurosurgery or neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with prevention, diagnosis, surgical treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system of the human body, including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system. By Thomas Domah /Nimba-Editing by Jonathan Browne