The New Dawn (Monrovia)

26 February 2013

Liberia: Scottish Medical Group Targets Maternal Mortality

Bong County — Emergency-care training for Liberian midwives and nurses has ended at the headquarters of the Bong County Health Team in Suakoko, Bong County. The training was organized by the Maternal and Child-health Advocacy International, a medical organization based in Scotland.

In an interview with the New Dawn-Liberia, the Honorary Medical Director and Trustee of MCAI said his institution was interesting and intending to assist Liberia reduce its maternal mortality rate.

According to Professor David Southall, the healthcare delivery system of Liberia was confronted with serious problems, expressing the need to address the situation with urgency. He assured that his organization would train midwives and nurses in Liberia to be up to the task of properly handling maternal cases, further disclosing to plans to provide assistance to the Phebe Hospital by expanding its Emergency Room and provide the necessary equipment for the section.

He added that the Phebe Hospital's ER did not represent the kind of services the hospital should be rendering to the people of Bong County and beyond as a referral hospital.

The Scottish Professor said his institution was in the country to stay indefinitely, expressing the hope to significantly contribute to the enhancement of the country's health care delivery system. The medical practitioner has also attributed the decline in the health system to big monies pay by international institutions leaving the public health sector vulnerable.

He said international institutions making huge financial contributions refrain from employing health workers in offices and consider hospital where they are needed most. "Why will doctors be taken to work in offices instead of the hospital, when the ratio of patients to a doctor is very huge," the Scottish medical practitioner wondered.

Professor Southall, then, urged the government to put in place regulations to prevent doctors from working in offices, but the hospitals, warning that if nothing was done about the situation, "international institutions will take all the capable people from the public health sector and put the lives of the common people at risk".

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