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Liberia news

Ellen visits 2 kids at JFK Hospital

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has assessed health conditions of two kids admitted at the state-run John F. Kennedy Medical Center or JFKMC on her request, and received doctors’ reports of “remarkable progress.”

“My aim is to intervene; you know, when somebody is not able, they don’t have parents who are… able and something like that. I do the best I can, that’s the job as a leader,” Mrs. Sirleaf told reporters at the JFK in Sinkor on Tuesday, 4th July.

The President’s intervention followed a local media publication in May surrounding some strange disease that had infected five year-old Steven Patricks, while in a separate case, she also requested the hospital to admit Hawa Brown of the Hayes Mission in Bomi County, after seeing the patient almost paralyzed and sitting in wheelchair during her recent visit to that county.

Doctors at the JFK say the two kids are making remarkable progress, though treatments are still ongoing. President Sirleaf’s assessment at the hospital was geared towards ascertaining firsthand information from doctors on the patients’ status, and she also interacted with the patients personally before leaving.

. Madam Sirleaf also recalled how she saw shocking photographs of Steven in media publication that prompted her intervention which immediately had him admitted at the state run JFK Medical Center where the health center says he is now making remarkable progress in response to treatment.

During Tuesday’s visit at the hospital, she interacted with the patients to know how well they were responding to treatment. As for patient Hawa Brown, President Sirleaf recalled that during one of her visits to Bomi County, she came across the patient sitting in a wheelchair almost paralyzed, unable to move as a result of a sickness that her mother could not say how it came about.

Medical personnel at the JFK told President Sirleaf Hawa had “single cell” disease that later became complicated, adding that she kept bending her leg whenever she was lying down due to the pain. During the President’s inquiry with Hawa on her present condition, the patient said she was now feeling better, confirming doctors’ report of “improving” condition.

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Before departing the JFK, President Sirleaf thanked God for the kids’ present condition, telling reporters that as President, it is her responsibility to help somebody, and where she cannot personally do it herself, call upon those in that area.

JFK chief administrator, Dr. Wvannie Scott-McDonald, explained that “single cell” is an inherited disease that is very painful, for which Steven could not walk. She said the patient has been very lucky and getting medication, noting that some experts came in few weeks ago from the United States, and his pictures have been taken and sent. Dr. McDonald told President Sirleaf that the hospital has to get some of the medication from the United States, while others are in-country, being applied three times daily.

As of the time of President Sirleaf’s visit on Tuesday, Dr. Scott-McDonald said the patient was still going through treatment, but added, “He has made remarkable progress,” unlike when he was admitted at the hospital. She disclosed that JFK has physicians that are working in consultation with a U.S. team of experts, further indicating that this was the first case she knows of.

Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has acknowledged that JFK faces many problems, but said she was proud of the work being done at the hospital sometimes under difficult circumstances. By Winston W. Parley

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