16 December 2008

Liberia: Duside Hospital in Firestone Reopened

Today Firestone Liberia celebrated the official reopening of the Firestone Medical Center at Duside as an inpatient facility. Several VIP guests attended the one-hour ceremony held today to commemorate this milestone, including Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

During Liberia's 14-year civil war, the hospital was severely damaged and all of its medical equipment was either stolen or destroyed. The rebuilding and reopening of the hospital represents the fulfillment of one of Firestone Liberia's commitments to the nation of Liberia under its investment agreement with the country.

The President of Firestone Natural Rubber Company, Dan Adomitis, was also in Liberia to celebrate the reopening of the Firestone Medical Center. "This is a major milestone for the people of Liberia, as well as for Firestone Liberia," Adomitis said. "We continue to stay focused and committed to the rebuilding of a country devastated by the civil war."

According to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lyndon G. Mabande, the Firestone Medical Center has been improved considerably beyond its prewar status. He said the large capacity of the building, which is designed to support 300 beds, will allow the medical personnel to provide better health care services to the people of Liberia.

Mabande said the renovated Firestone Medical Center will offer a range of health care services including general surgery, prenatal service and vaccinations. "We have an eye doctor, a gynecologist, one who deals with general medicine and many more who are a part of our team," said Mabande. The company has also invested in new medical and diagnostic equipment, operating rooms, a laboratory and a pharmacy.

Firestone Liberia partners with UNICEF and the Liberian Ministry of Health to store and administer vaccines that help protect Liberians from a range of diseases. The company provides health care to its employees and their dependents at no charge to them. The facility will also serve the needs of the surrounding community. Firestone Liberia medical facilities receive approximately 9,000 patient visits a month.

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