President Sirleaf visits J.F.K. Medical Center

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commended the chief administrator, chief medical officer, doctors and staff at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center for the service they’re rendering the Liberian people and said she was very impressed with the improvements being made at the referral and teaching hospital.

“I’m very impressed with the improvement made at this hospital. With the staff and their dedication – many of them that were so good during the period of fighting Ebola – they are doing a tremendous job,” she said.

The Executive Mansion   says the Liberian leader made the statement, Monday, March 23, following a guided tour of the medical center to see, first hand, reconstruction and the upgrading of the facility currently taking place there. 

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She toured the second, third and fourth floors of the medical center as well as other parts of the out-patient department, including a dry-run of the triage put in place at the side entrance of the compound to screen patients, who visit the hospital for treatment and to extract those patients, who might have Ebola symptoms.

“One of the things we have been working with our partners is to make sure that after Ebola we will upgrade all of our hospitals and health centers. JFK is a primary and historical one for us,” the President said.

She disclosed that some partners, including the National Institute of Health have committed to work with the management of the JFK Medical Center and the Ministry of Health to make sure that the hospital is upgraded to a primary referral hospital.

The Liberian leader again re-echoed that squatters residing at the back of the JFK Medical Center fence must relocate as they have blocked the drainage that empties into the Atlantic Ocean, causing the hospital to get flooded during the raining season. “Many persons have built in the swampland against the walls of the hospital. When the raining season comes the hospital gets flooded,” she said.

She stressed that government and partners have made and are making big investments in the hospital and will not allow the hospital to be destroyed.  She said government will work with the residents to begin plans for relocation.

Touching on the re-emergence of Ebola by an affected female in the Caldwell community after nearly three-weeks without a case, President Sirleaf said Liberians must have to accept it as it’s the nature of the disease. 

She urged Liberians to keep up the prevention more aggressively and thanked God that it’s only one person that is being traced by the Incidence Management System and trying to isolate that case so it doesn’t spread. “So far, we’re very pleased with their response and the ability to contain the virus,” she emphasized.

Also making remarks, the chief administrator of the J.F. Kennedy Medical Center, Dr. Wannie Scott-Mcdonald said she was delighted by the visit of President Sirleaf to the J.F.K. Medical Center to see ongoing work at the facility.

She used the opportunity to inform the public that the J.F.K. Medical Center is their hospital and they should seek treatment there anytime they fall sick.

Dr. McDonald noted that the President’s visit was also intended to assure the Liberian people that the healthcare of the country has returned to normal and the J.F.K. referral/teaching hospital is opened and functional and patients should feel free to visit there for treatment.

The J.F.K. administration has come under severe public criticism for rejecting patients for fear of Ebola.  Several patients have died unattended to by hospital staff, including the daughter of a Montserrado County Representative Edward Forh.  

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