Heritage (Monrovia)

30 January 2012

Liberia: CSI Mission - We Are Here to Save Lives

The President of the Firestone Natural Rubber Company, Mr. Dan J. Adomatis, has said a medical team under the banner of Children's Surgery International (CSI) is here to save the lives of Liberians. The CSI medical team, which arrived in Liberia Wednesday, January 25, 2012, is in the country to perform free medical surgical operations on afflicted Liberian children at the Firestone Medical Center in Duside, outside Harbel, Margibi County.

The CSI team is in the country through an invitation from the Firestone-Liberia. The team, with support from their Liberian counterparts, commenced its free surgical operations on afflicted Liberian children Sunday, January 29, 2012 at the Firestone Medical Center in Duside, outside Harbel, Margibi County.

The CSI team comprises doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical and social workers.

The surgical operations are expected to end this Friday, February 3, 2012.

Addressing a news conference yesterday following the commencement of the CSI medical team surgical operations, Mr. Adomatis said the services of the CSI team do not only save lives, but also make the Firestone-Liberia health services better healthcare centers, especially at the Duside Hospital.

Added Mr. Adomatis: "This is a service we always wish to perform, especially in Liberia. Our partners from the CSI mission is always excited coming to Liberia to work for Liberians. This is a unique for the children of Liberia. We want Liberians see Firestone the kind of company it is. We are doing this because we are this because we are part of the country."

For his part, the Chief Medical Officer of the Firestone Health Services, Dr. Lyndon G. Mabande, who also addressed the news conference, recalled that this is third time CSI has come to Liberia to render such a significant help for the people of Liberia, especially for children.

Dr. Mabande further recalled that the inaugural year of CSIS engagement in Liberia was in 2010 at which time the team dealt with 144 cases.

With that success in 2010, he said, the team saw the need to help Liberian children and therefore, came back 2011.

According to him, this time, CSI successfully completed 175 cases.

The Firestone-Liberia medical chief added that the team may deal with about 100 to 150 cases for 2012 before it departs the country.

At the same time, the Clinic Coordinator of CSI, Madam Katie Houle, told this paper in an exclusive interview at the start of the surgical operations yesterday that CSI medical team is excited once more to be in Liberia.

She said the team will do all it can to save as many lives before going back to the United States of America.

She named the major operations that are being conducted by CSI as Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, Hernia and Urology.

Also speaking to this paper, the Board of Directors of CSI, Madam Lora Koppel, who also travelled on the trip, said she is very excited to be back in Firestone. She noted that she is also proud because CSI has a positive working relationship with its counterparts at the Firestone Medical center. The CSI Board Chairperson described the partnership with Firestone-Liberia as one of the best partnership CSI has, saying "we feel welcomed when we come here."

Commenting briefly on the ongoing surgical operations, Madam Koppel disclosed that the penis problems are the most complicated problems, noting, they take much time than any other operations.

She attributed the complicated problems to wrongful circumcision.

Meanwhile, several of the parents, whose children are being treated, have thanked Firestone-Liberia and CSI for such an important initiative.

One of them, Madam Lovetta Dunah, whose six years old son is faced with a penis problem, said, she was very happy when she heard the news of the arrival of the CSI team in the country.

Lovetta, who is a resident of the GSA Road Community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia said, her son, McDonald Johnson was born circumcised, and does not have a urine hole.

According to Madam Dunnah, little McDonald Johnson urine comes from the under part of his penis, something, which she said, had worried her a lot.

With the arrival of the CSI team, she added that she is of the strongest conviction that her child gets relief following his operation.

The Firestone Hospital currently treats over 9,000 patients each month. In addition, Firestone-Liberia is partnering with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the UNICEF to store and administer vaccines that help protect Liberians from from a range of diseases. The hospital also works with the Ministry of Health for the control of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

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