President George Manneh Weah says he is a man of action, not empty speeches, as he broke ground for the construction of the nation’s first military hospital on Monday March 26.
“I do more than just promise. I deliver. I have always kept my promises because a promise means everything, “he said. “ But once it is broken, sorry means nothing,” Mr. Weah adds. “This hospital marks the beginning of another promise kept. It is the first project of mine administration and I promised you that it will not be the last.”
“We can be the best in the world. You will soon learn that I am a man of action and deeds, not of empty words and talks,” Mr. Weah said. The hospital, which will be named “14 Military Hospital”, is expected to have up to 200 – bed facility and will be located in Schiefflin, Margibi County, near the military barracks.
Mr. Weah speaking recently at the Armed Forces Day celebration here on February 11, bemoaned the plights of servicemen that have to be evacuated abroad for treatment after returning home from peacekeeping operations abroad, due to the lack of specialized medical treatment that they require.
Accompanied by First Lady Clar Weah, Mr. Weah further expressed concern that too often military personnel seek medical attention at private clinics and hospitals outside the barracks where they are given no priority, while their families are left to languish in private walls with no attention.
Construction is expected to commence for the military hospital in few weeks, according to Mr. Weah, while re-emphasizing that the new hospital will be equipped with the most modern facilities and staffed by highly trained medical personnel.
President Weah further indicated that the facility will also be a teaching hospital to train the men and women in arms in all medical disciplines, and calls the project the first step towards fulfilling his commitment to building a professional Liberian Army.
The Commander In Chief said his word, is his bounds, adding, “I do more than talk and just talk, I act.”
Mr. Weah noted that the groundbreaking ceremony comes exactly six weeks after he made the promise for the military hospital during observance of this year’s Armed Forces Day Celebration on 12 February.
Already, he has disclosed that in just one and a half month government has approved the plan and design of the hospital and arranged the required financing.
According to him, the hospital is named the “14 Military Hospital in memory of his days playing on the national team in 1995 when he wore number 14 on his jersey, and also as recipient of the Ballon d’Or who at that time was given the title FIFA World Footballer of the Year.
“This is the first and so far the only world title that has been won by any Liberian in any sports, and it planted the Liberian Flag forever in the Hall of Fame of Soccer. I was that Liberian … and the number on my back playing for the Lonestar at that time was number 14,” he adds.
President Weah says the number is now attached to this important institution as a symbolic reminder of what Liberians can achieve “when we, together put our hearts and minds into promoting and defending our country’s cause.”
Earlier, Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn said the military hospital project couldn’t have come at a better time when members of the AFL, their spouses and dependents and the surrounding communities are in dire need of a quality health care.
“We hope this program will not just be the end bust as we do the groundbreaking, we will have a standard military hospital built here,” he says.
AFL’s Chief Medical Officer Doctor Joshua George says “we anticipate 150 to 200 – bed facility” that would cater to patient care, provide health education, conduct medical research and [conduct] training for AFL, the communities surrounding the barracks and the larger society.
Over the past days he says the engineering unit of the AFL did work on the proposed 140 acres facility, clearing 11.5 acres to commence the ground breaking exercises.
He says the facilities will not be limited to serving the soldiers and their dependents, but also the larger society.
Meanwhile, President Weah has carried out assessment on the Balli Island near Monrovia where he says Indian investors have expressed interest to construct a 4,000 – capacity international conference center.
The 112 acres – island where the facility is to be built has also been earmarked by Mr. Weah to build what he wants to be named “Monrovia City,” with plans to have university and shopping malls constructed there.
A bridge is also expected to be constructed to connect Bali Island to Monrovia from Crown Hill. Mr. Weah, First Lady Clar Weah and other government officials and investors rode boats across the Mesurado River to assess the Bali Island
By Winston W. Parley