Maryland County, with the only referral JJ Dossen Hospital in the Southeast of Liberia, is current operating with an ambulance due to fuel shortage. The situation was reported to have been mandated by the Ministry of Health without a supplementary plan or provision to keep the ambulances operational.
The three ambulances and utility vehicles of the Maryland county health team were initially fuelled by Merlin, an International NGO partnering with the Ministry of Health in the delivery of health services in the southeast.
The reports revealed that Merlin informed the JJ Dossen authorities and county health team that they recently signed a “bridge contract” with the Health Ministry mandating them to limit fuel supply to only one ambulance and hospital generators as of August 15.
JJ Dossen Hospital Administrator Roland Barlea said the news was greeted with shock and great fears, noting that the ambulances play a critical role in saving lives by promptly responding to emergencies, including transporting patients from across the county and parts of the region to the hospital and making referrals to larger hospitals in the country.
Mr. Barlea stated that he was worried about the situation, calling on the Ministry of Health to remedy the situation so as to avoid preventable deaths in the county.
In a related development, authorities of the JJ Dossen Hospital have disclosed that the hospital’s Paediatric Ward is currently undergoing full rehabilitation. JJ Dossen Administrator Roland Barlea said that the initiative sets out to revamp the children’s ward to its pre-war status to meet the demanding medical needs of children in the region.
Mr. Barlea, disclosed that the project which is being sponsored by the European Union, through its ECHO project, is in the tune of Thirty Thousand United States Dollars.
According to him, it is part of benefits to his institution for catering for the medical needs of Ivorian Refugees, particularly during the influx. The project intended for one month beginning June 1, is yet to be completed due to what he termed as “technical problems best known to the budget holders”.
In spite of the pressing need for a comprehensive rehabilitation of the entire hospital, the JJ Dossen administrator expressed heartfelt thanks to the EU and partners, quoting the Chinese proverb, “a million mile journey begins with a step”.
He called on the Ministry of Health, Maryland Legislative Caucus and partners to come to the aid of the only referral hospital in the south-eastern region. This paper has gathered there has been no major renovation on the JJ Dossen Hospital since its construction in the mid-1940s.