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GeneralHealthLiberia news

GoL will construct Gbondoi Health Center

-Sup. Walker Discloses

By: Joseph Titus Yekeryan

Amid controversy over the alleged squandering of funds for the Gbondai’s Health Center construction, Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker has disclosed that the Liberian Government has already placed into the budget some money to construct a health center there.

Over the past weeks, there have been claims and counter claims between the county’s 3rd and 6th electoral District Representatives, Josiah Marvin Cole and Moima Briggs Mensah over the alleged misappropriation of about US $150,000 which was intended for the construction of a clinic in the area.

At one point, Representative Cole admitted that the diversion of the funds was based on an instruction from his office to the county’s Health team on grounds that he wanted the speedy completion of the Jenepleta clinic because the money was not enough to start and complete a health center in Gbondoi, while accusing the District #6 Representative for poorly representing her people because she claimed to have known absolutely nothing about the allotments over the years.

“How can someone who says she is a representative claim not to know what is in the budget? Before the budget is passed, all the Representatives and Senators are entitled to copies. This is intended for them to understand what are in it. So, if your Representative can openly tell you that she doesn’t know that Gbondoi had over the past been captured, the message is clear that she is a zero Lawmaker and is just at the Legislature to get kickbacks” Cole told a group of citizens in Totota at the weekend.

Despite all the facts that allotments have over the past been made for the construction of the ‘ghost’ health center, Superintendent Walker has on behalf of the government promised that very shortly, the construction process will start in order to give what the people of Gbondoi have over the past requested for.

Making the disclosure at a town hall meeting, Walker said that outside of what has over the past been placed in the budget, the county health team has received some money from the government of Liberia to construct a health facility in the town.

“This government cares about the people of Liberia with Gbondoi being no exception. President George Weah wants to see the best in all sectors of government. So, with that, I want to tell you all here that the government will shortly commence the construction of a health center in Gbondoi that will cater to the needs of our people ” Walker adds.

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At the same time, Bong County Health Officer Dr. Cynthia Blapooh confirmed to a Radio Gbarnga’s telephone interview on Monday morning that the health team’s account currently has money to jumpstart the project.

She held every comment on the controversies in Gbondoi but confirmed that they have some money to start the project.

About seven miles away from Gbarnga, Gbondoi is situated between Suakoko Town in Suakoko Administrative District and Gbartala in Yelequelleh District. Administratively, the town is in District #5, but falls under District #6 electorally which is being represented by Madam Moimah Briggs-Mensah.

With the many cries from the locals for a health center, the Government allotted the first $50,000 United States Dollars in 2020 to start the construction of the Health Center in the town.

Also, in the 2021 and 2022 national budget, the same US $50,000 was allotted each making it $150,000 for the ghost health center.

 The project is currently in the 2023 National Budget and is expected to receive about $25,000 United States Dollars.

Despite the allotments of these monies, our Bong County Correspondent says not even a foundation has been dug in Gbondoi as citizens of the area are still finding it difficult to access a health facility.

“We who don’t have money can walk from here all the way to Gbatala or sometimes Phebe. We are really suffering. We don’t have any clinic here, not even a drug store,” Nutai Yarkpa, a pregnant woman told our Correspondent as she sorrowfully held her waist.

She said the lack of a health center in the town nearly led to her having miscarriage, though she did not explain in detail what exactly happened. According to her, she experienced a lot of complications during her first pregnancy and only survived at the mercy of traditional midwives.

“It was not easy, my brother, I nearly died but thanks to God that he was able to save me with the help of some old women ” she stressed.

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