Despite medical equipment provided by government and partners to upgrade J.J. Dossen Hospital, the only referral hospital in southeast Liberia, the hospital still faces several constraints that are hampering its smooth operations.
The J.J. Dossen memorial referral hospital situated in Harper City, Maryland County is currently facing three major problems, including lack of electricity, ambulances and logistics.
Speaking in an interview with The New Dawn in Harper recently, the medical director for the hospital, Doctor Methodus George says the lack of these facilities poses serious challenge to the smooth operation of the hospital despite being staffed with professionals.
Though Marylanders are benefiting energy provided by the West Africa Power Poll, regional group for nearly two years now, Dr. George says the power from WAPP to the hospital is irregular.
J.J. Dossen presently provides medical services to patients from River Gee, Grand Kru, Maryland counties and neighboring Ivory Coast.
Doctor George says the hospital receives over 700 patients that troop to the facility for treatment weekly, but there is problem of movement, particularly during rainy seasons due to bad roads when it is difficult to transfer patients from Harper to Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County through River Gee and Grand Gedeh counties.
He laments that bad roads during the rainy season also delay arrival of drugs at J.J. Dossen for patients.
However, he notes that the main challenge is electricity though there is 24-hour power in Harper City, but if the supply is cut off, it becomes a problem, because the only 30 KVA generator available takes about 45 gallons of fuel per day, adding that the little budget allotted for the hospital if it is spent on fuel alone, it may affect smooth operations in other major areas.
On the question of transportation, Dr. George explains that the hospital’s five ambulances are currently down, so it depends on a non-governmental organization, Partners in Health to always provide a car in case of emergency. He lauds Partners in Health for also assisting with fuel, food and drugs besides transporting patients to other facilities.
By George K. Momo/ Maryland -Editing by Jonathan Browne