Weah to build a new JFK Hospital
By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh
President George Manneh Weah has announced plans to construct a new JFK hospital in Monrovia, the government’s largest referral hospital to replace the current facility.
The hospital will be constructed right on the premises of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital (JFK) in Sinkor, Monrovia.
President Weah made the disclosure on Monday during interactions with the people of Montserrado County as part of completion of his nationwide tour that he commenced last year February.
Mr. Weah said the pending New JFK, looks to beef up the health system in the country that has been challenged over the years.
He said his ambition is to continue to develop Liberia, noting that the works has just begun.
He references the 14th military hospital; the newly constructed Emirate hospital in Gbarpolu county; the refurbished Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tappita, Nimba county, as key to his quest to improve the health sector of the country.
He also mentioned road connectivity, electricity, and education, among others as paramount objectives of his government.
“I am a developmental-oriented leader; as such, I urge you to be patient and we will develop Liberia together”, President Weah re-echoed.
He stressed that health is wealth, so his government will certainly do everything to keep improving the health sector.
“My administration has constructed more health infrastructures than any other government and we will do more for the benefit of our people.
Since we have the old JFK, we will build the new JFK right by the old JFK. Then it will be two JFK, and you [know] how ambitious we are, to keep developing Liberia”, President Weah added.
The John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center was built at the request of former Liberian, President William V.S. Tubman, whose 1961 visit with U.S. President John F. Kennedy laid the groundwork for USAID funding for a national medical center in Liberia.
The project was funded with a US$6.8 million loan and US$9.2 million in grants from USAID. The Government of Liberia contributed US$ 1 million to the project.
Constructed in 1965, the facility was opened to the public in 1971. However, it was formally established by the Liberian Legislature as an autonomous agency of government in 1972. Liberia assumed full operational rights from the Americans in 1978.
The JFK remains the country’s largest referral hospital, despite being hugely damaged during the Liberian Civil War.
It has been largely rehabilitated and continues to improve its capabilities and growth capacity since the ascendancy of President Weah, with the opening of its first Dialysis Center recently, including a newly constructed intensive care unit, dedicated in 2020.
The hospital is named in memory of United States 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. CST in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade. Editing by Jonathan Browne