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Drugs, fuel shortage hit C. H. Rennie Hospital

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The Charles Henry Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County has been hit by serious drug shortage and lack of electricity.

A highly placed source, who disclosed this to the New Dawn on Tuesday, 22 January said the situation has persisted for about two months.

According to the source, due to fuel shortage, authorities of the hospital have reduced power supply from 24 hours to 12 hours.

Electricity comes around 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning and goes off by 3pm, while at night it comes by 7:30 pm and goes off by 3:00 A.M. daily.

“It’s really a serious problem for us especially, we as care givers; this situation makes more unfriendliness between us and the patients and their caregivers because we can’t operate in darkness. It is just difficult for us to operate in darkness. Even when it comes to emergency, patients coming and we have to do lab and current [power] is not on, you have to start running around to just put current on for emergency situation; it becomes a problem for us.”

The source notes that initially, the Partnership on Research and Ebola Virus in Liberia or PREVAIL was providing the hospital electricity for 12hrs, but discontinued as of January 1, 2019, on grounds that the institution is overburdened and its donors could no longer help the C.H. Rennie Hospital.

Meanwhile, the hospital is also faced with drug shortage with patients being asked to purchase drugs from private drug stores following prescription.

The Government of Liberia in the 2018/2019 national budget allocated US$200,000 for the hospital, but it is not clear whether the amount is being disbursed to hospital authorities.

C.H. Rennie provides services to thousands of Liberians from Margibi, Gbarpolu, Bong, Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties and the current situation is impeding its smooth operation.

Hospital Administrator, Mulbah Saywala could neither confirm nor deny situations at the hospital, but promised to speak to the media soon.
However, the Clinical Communication Manager of PREVAIL, Journalist Hassan Kaiwu, admits that the hospital was disconnected because an agreement signed between the two entities ended in December, 2018.
Hassan explains that funds PREVAIL receives are intended for research purposes and not for clinical care.

He points out that in 2016 when PREVAIL started operation at Du-port Road in Paynesville and C.H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata, respectively, it entered into an agreement with the Managements of both institutions to provide electricity up to 2018 December, and C.H. Rennie was particularly to provide 30 percent contribution to the electricity supply, but it failed to live up to said commitment.

He further narrates six months prior to the decision, PREVAIL executives informed the hospital management verbally time was running out followed by written communication, officially calling on the management to get prepare to shoulder the burden.

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr in Margibi –Editing by Jonathan Browne

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