President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has dedicated a US3.4 million Liberian-Japanese Friendship Maternity Hospital at the John F. Kennedy Medical Complex in Sinkor.
The Children hospital renovated by the Japanese Government is one of several supports being render to the people of Liberia by the Asian nation.
Speaking during the dedication ceremony, President Sirleaf applauded the strong partnership between both countries. The President recalled that in the 1970s Japan was one of Liberia’s greatest allies especially in the private sector.
An Executive Mansion release issued Saturday quoted the President as saying, Japan, had expressed mining interest in the Wologisi Mountain in Lofa County, but due to the civil crisis that exploration did not materialize.
Nevertheless, the Liberian leader indicated, Japan has remained committed in its support for Liberia’s progress, citing the Asian nation’s role at the United Nations Security Council in restoring peace to the Liberia. The President expressed gratitude that the friendship between Liberia and Japan, interrupted during the civil conflict is now being rebuilt for the mutual benefit of the two counties.
Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Liberia, H.E. Keiichi Katakami, commended the Government and people of Liberia for the progress which he attributed to the strong leadership provided under the current government and the strong hope for peace nourished by the Liberian people.
He described the renovation of the hospital as “a strong come-back, outfitted with some urgent priority medical equipments and leading-edge technologies.” The Government of Japan, the ambassador said, “is deeply committed to improving the maternal and infant health situation in Liberia.
In addition to the rehabilitation of the Liberian-Japanese Friendship Maternity Hospital, he disclosed that his government has dispatched experts in the field of maintenance of medical equipment, hospital management, and mother and child healthcare, in order to enhance the comprehensive capacity of the Hospital.
The General Administrator of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Dr. Wvannie Scott Mc-Donald described the renovation of the maternity hospital as a beginning of a step forward for the only referral hospital, the JFK.
Health & Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter Gwenigale, who also witnessed the program, spoke of the challenges facing the health sector but stated that more progress has been made in the delivery of health needs to the people. He lauded the President and National Legislature for increase in budgetary support to the health sector.
The more than 200 bed Maternity hospital is equipped with state of the art medical equipment including altra sound, fetal monitors, digital x-ray machines, sonograms, incubators with respirators among others. The cost of rehabilitation is put at US$3.4 million.
Built in 1981 by the Government of Japan through grant assistance, some facilities and medical equipment of the hospital were damaged during the civil conflict. The renovation of the Center followed a visit to Japan by the Liberian President in 2006 when she appealed to the Japanese Government to rehabilitate the hospital.