(May 5, 2022, 14st Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia)—a team of Health experts from the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Washington DC, and the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) has concluded a two-day stakeholders meeting in Monrovia.
The meeting concluded by developing a strategic plan for strengthening the emergency and critical care systems in Liberia. It also looked at implementation plan for the highest priority actions, proposed training in WHO’s Basic Emergency Care course, and explored the possible launch of GETI in Liberia, from May to September of this year.
The assessment is being developed by the WHO and its partners to help low middle income country to have a complete situation analysis of their emergency health care system and how to improve upon it.
This came into being when Liberia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, thought it wise to engage WHO headquarters in Washington DC and asked for assistance.
“With the fast moving pace of modernization and development, Liberia will need a system in place to address the disadvantages that could follow. The construction and expansion of new roads from Monrovia to Nimba, the ongoing RIA highway, the rise in commercial motorcycles and many more, we need adequate ambulances and emergency departments manned by skilled practitioners for proper pre-hospital and in-hospital care.
“on behalf of the President and as Minister of Health do assure you and team Liberia’s fullest corporation to strengthening basic emergency care services throughout the length and breadth of Liberia”, Dr. Jallah expressed during the opening.
Prior to the two days meeting, the team along with the Ministry of Health conducted an assignment tour of major health facilities in Montserrado and Bong Counties.
However, the tour of these health facilities was aimed at strengthening and understanding how the available system works and what can be done to better improve it.
The tour kickoff on May 2, 2022 at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) in Monrovia with a brief PowerPoint presentation of what the team intend to do through the Ministry of Health (MOH) at various referrer hospitals.
This assignment dugout the basis and analysis of where Liberia stands as a country in terms of its emergency health care services and as well provide a strategic planning process and to find a way forward.
At the JFK Medical Center, the team met with doctors from their different departments including medical students who witnessed the presentation from WHO.
The speaking during the tour at the JFKMC ground round, Dr. Jerry Yekeh Browne lauded the team for their visit and see it as a great boost to the health sector of Liberia. “They are here to do an assessment and at the end of the day, they will train health workers at referral hospitals, so that they can be more proactive in providing emergency health care services to patients,” said Dr. Browne.
According to him, the assignment also looked at what various health centers have in place in terms of emergency care services and then critique it as well as make some recommendations to the Ministry for better improvement of the system. Dr. Browne said the team also want to ensure that the available emergency tools are up to standard.
Dr. Browne: “I hope the training of our health care workers will improve on their ability as they build on the existing knowledge and skills. We also hope to have our ambulances well equipped to appropriately transport patients from the various communities to the referral hospital.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Jefferson Sibley, Chief Executive Officer of Phebe Hospital in Bong County, appreciated the team for coming to Liberia. “We think your coming here today is timely because we had been wishing for this so long.”
He outlined the lack of ambulances to response promptly to emergency cases something he said has resulted to the death of many. He also named the lack of electricity to supply proper pipe boil water to important areas.
“We don’t have good system put in place here, to even transport patients from accident scene to the referrer hospital is a challenge as a results most of them die. If you look at the death almost 25% of death that occurs comes from our ER situation,” Dr. Sibley disclosed.
However, the two-day ongoing stakeholder meeting brought together health workers from various health facilities in Monrovia.
Finally, Ass. Minister George Jacobs declaring the gathering close, thanked the team from WHO for always remembering Liberia. On behalf of the Minister of Health, he committed the Ministry’s support in working with every document adopted during the gathering.