President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday conferred one of Liberia’s highest honors on two volunteer foreign medical doctors who are departing the country to take up new assignments.
Honored were Dr. Justin Bird, an orthopedic surgeon from the United States; and Dr. Wang Gang, a pediatric surgeon from the People’s Republic of China. Both physicians served more than a year at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.
Speaking at the ceremony in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium, the Liberian President thanked the two doctors for the sacrificial services rendered to Liberians. She was disheartened, she said, that the two were leaving Liberia, but acknowledged that their services had to be extended to other parts of the world.
The President urged Drs. Bird and Wang to serve as Ambassadors of Liberia to encourage other humanitarian volunteers to come and contribute to the nation’s recovery. The President also admonished Liberians to adopt a spirit of volunteerism as a means of contributing to the country’s recovery.
In separate remarks, the honorees thanked the Liberian Government and people for the honor, and praised Liberians for contributing to the success of their mission through cooperation. They promised to continue to advocate for Liberia, to encourage others to contribute voluntary services, particularly in the healthcare delivery sector.
The program was attended by several senior officials of Government, Chinese Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao, a cross-section of Liberian medical doctors, staff of JFK, as well as Ambassador Mansour Abdallah of Lebanon, Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps.
Drs. Bird and Wang Gang departed Liberia over the weekend.