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President Sirleaf Answers Questions

The President also fielded questions from members of the media present. Asked what message the Sackie case sent about post-war Liberia, the President replied that the country needed to do more to halt armed robberies; to punish those who engaged in such behavior.

It also showed that Liberia has some ways to go in our medical service, so that the country would be able to get plastic surgeons and the type of equipment to treat people at home.

The fact that Sackie could not obtain medical attention at home showed that the country still had a long way to go, but, she added: “We’ve come a long way too. If you go to JFK you’ll see that the hospital has changed considerably.

We now have a program where doctors come and give periodic service; in fact, two or three sets of doctors from universities and hospitals abroad. We still need specialized service. Getting a specialist such as a plastic surgeon isn’t something that happens easily.”

Asked about the sale of acid, costing as little as LD$20, the President said she had seen the call today about putting a ban on the sale of acid. That was now under consideration and the Ministry of Justice would see what could be done.

To a question about the sale of gasoline in bottles on sidewalks, the President replied that if that was happening, then there was an enforcement problem because there was a ban on the sale of gasoline in bottles on the street.

“We’ve said that if gasoline is to be sold in bottles, it should be stored in a proper place, not on the sidewalk. If gas is being sold on the sidewalks, I will have to get back to the police to inform them that their enforcement is weak.”

Asked how she could assist with Sackie’s prescription costs after he undergoes surgery, the President reiterated that the young man would be given support. The little purse she’d just given was simply to help them buy their personal effects and food; it was not for prescriptions.

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Once the full story about his prescriptions was known, she would support that. The amount of the purse was US$1,000 from her personal funds, the President said, in reply to another question.

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