BOMI – In an effort to provide quality health services to residents of Klay District in Bomi County, the United Organization of Klay in the Americas (UNOKLAYA) Inc and the Government of Liberia have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the proper functioning of the Klay Medical Center.
At a Citizen Engagement Meeting held on Thursday, July 7, 2022 in Klay, Bomi County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jackson thanked citizens for supporting central government efforts to provide quality health services to their community.
According to her, it was the very first time that she saw citizens collaborating with the central government for the management of a health center in the country.
Dr. Jackson has pledged to do everything in his power to equip Klay Medical Center with some of his best nurses, personal assistants, and medications to enable it to be the second largest health care facility in County County. Bomi.
Bomi County Superintendent, Honorable Adama C. Robinson also spoke at the one-day citizen engagement, who also pledged to work closely with the citizens of Klay and the team. county health care to maintain the 24/7 operation of the medical facility which will prevent the citizens of the township from dying from some of the common diseases.
Klay Township has a population of approximately 10,000 and has not had a functioning medical facility since the end of rebel prison president Charles Taylor’s war, a situation that has made it very difficult and nearly impossible for citizens in the area. access to affordable medical services.
Thanks to this memorandum of understanding between local residents and the government of Liberia, citizens will no longer have to travel several kilometers from their villages to access care.
During the engagement, many citizens warned the government to allocate more resources to the facility as it begins to operate 24/7 in the coming weeks, on the fact that many government-run medical institutions in the country do not provide quality healthcare services due to
The weakness of the country’s health system due to pre-existing structural vulnerabilities such as inadequate infrastructure and an unmotivated workforce with limited training, exposing the fragility and vulnerability of the system.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, many healthcare facilities closed and healthcare professionals who contracted the virus while caring for patients lost their lives.
Liberia is a low-income country and health care statistics reflect the country’s low level of development. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the average life expectancy (at birth) at around 60 years, the maternal mortality rate at 640 per 100,000 live births, and the infant mortality rate ( under five) to 71 deaths per 1,000 live births. . Liberia has some of the highest prevalence rates for malaria and tuberculosis in Africa. There are sporadic outbreaks of other infectious diseases with high mortality rates, such as meningitis, Lassa fever and other viral hemorrhagic fevers, which must be reported in accordance with international health protocols. Water-borne communicable diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and shigella are common in Liberia, especially during the six-month rainy season. Serious medical conditions require emergency evacuation out of Liberia for proper treatment.
Liberia’s national medical center is the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, consisting of John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Maternity Hospital, Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (a paramedic and nursing school), and Catherine Mills Rehabilitation Hospital (a currently operating psychiatric care facility). Currently, JFK is the nation’s largest referral hospital fully funded by the government and international donors.
Liberia’s health system is highly dependent on support from international donors. Many health facilities are run by the government, donors, or through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including faith-based organizations. In general, private sector involvement in the health sector is minimal. In the national budgets for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19, the government allocated 14% and 13% respectively to the health sector.
The sector is constrained by poor supply chain management, particularly in terms of the distribution and storage of pharmaceuticals and other supplies, as well as limited human resources, particularly in terms of doctors, specialists, pharmacists and of laboratory technicians. The availability of essential genuine medical equipment and pharmaceuticals is limited, and stock-outs are frequently reported, especially in areas of the country that are not currently supported by international donor agencies.
The general weakness of Liberia’s health system means there are many areas that could benefit from US investment. For example, the limited capacity translates into many investment opportunities such as the provision of health facilities, logistics and medical equipment, the training of laboratory technicians, midwives and pharmacists, as well as providing reliable medical supplies to community health centers. Investment opportunities include strengthening the health system through education, training, capacity building and skills development programs. There are also opportunities to provide specialized equipment to healthcare providers targeting the expatriate community, including diagnostic and critical care equipment such as ultrasound, MRI, electrocardiography, advanced life support equipment and digital x-ray machines.
With the above challenges facing the health sector in Liberia and Klay Medical Facility is no exception, local residents have encouraged their sons and daughters from the Diaspora to continue the great work they are doing. at their home.
The sole engagement was courtesy of the County Health Team, County Superintendent, District Commissioner, Chiefs, Traditional Leaders, Youth, Women and Joint Security members.