1 October 2014

Liberia: President Sirleaf Meets With Delegation From Heart Foundation and Americares - Delegation Here to Lend Support in Curtailing the Ebola Virus Disease

A visiting delegation of the Health Education and Relief through Teaching (HEARTT) Foundation and its collaborating partner, AmeriCares has held a meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry office.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the head of delegation, HEARTT Foundation's interim executive director Masmina Sirleaf, informed the Liberian leader that the visit was aimed at briefing her about HEARTT and AmeriCares' intervention in West Africa and Liberia in particular in light of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease now ravaging the sub-region.

She pointed out that HEARTT's response to the West African Ebola outbreak has focused on support for Liberian health facilities and protection of the frontline health workers. "Through our partners and donor networks, we have provided shipments of personal protective equipment, IV fluids and other life-saving supplies worth more than $500,000 to hospitals, clinics and treatment centers," Mrs. Sirleaf stressed, adding, "Over the next several days, HEARTT will distribute three shipments from AmeriCares and one from Liberia Medical Relief with the assistance of local chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Monrovia Rotary Club."

For her part, President Sirleaf welcomed HEARTT and AmeriCares to Liberia and recognized their local partners, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Monrovia Rotary Club. She reflected that she has followed HEARTT's work in Liberia long before the start of her administration and described their work as "a good example of Liberians helping Liberia".

The Liberian leader further noted the good work of HEARTT and AmeriCares that include several interventions at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Medical Center and the Redemption Hospital in Monrovia which has helped train medical staffers and provide opportunity for the deployment of doctors and other healthcare professionals to render voluntary services to Liberians.

President Sirleaf also recognized that the group has been a major contributor to Liberia's healthcare services which ensured that doctors performed critical free operations at the JFK Medical Center. "Even though the voluntary doctors left Liberia due to the Ebola outbreak, we are happy to know that HEARTT, AmeriCares and their local partners are still here providing and distributing essentially needed medical supplies and protective equipment to Ebola Treatment Centers and other regular health facilities," she pointed out.

She told both HEARTT and AmeriCares that their partnership has not only given hope to Liberians but proven that there are still groups out there that really care for people in need and in crisis; adding that she applauds the institutions for their role in all they are doing as the country battles an unknown disease.

President Sirleaf also praised the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Phil Alpha Fraternity and Monrovia Rotary Club who are utilizing their own resources, with no request from government to help Liberia overcome the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease.

The HEARTT Foundation was born against the backdrop of post-conflict Liberia reweaving its social and economic fabric. HEARTT Foundation recruits and facilitates the travel of volunteer clinicians to increase clinical care capacity and provide hands-on training and lectures to local healthcare workers at the JFK Medical Center and Redemption Hospital in Monrovia. It has established programs in emergency medicine, internal medicine, pediatric and orthopedic surgery at the JFK Medical Center and pediatric and obstetrics-gynecology at Redemption Hospital; rotating up to 70 primary care and specialty Physicians to Liberia annually for continuous coverage.

AmeriCares is an emergency response and global health organization committed to saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis in the United States and around the world. Today, AmeriCares is the world's largest provider of donated medicines and medical supplies, both in the United States and worldwide and works along with more than 3,500 local partners to restore and enhance health services, particularly in the face of disaster; provide quality primary care; increase access to medicines and supplies in under-resourced settings and catalyze long-term improvements in healthcare delivery.

The visiting delegation included HEARTT Foundation's interim executive director, Masmina Sirleaf; AmeriCare's director of emergency response, Garett Ingoglia; head of assessment at AmeriCare. Brian Hoyer; Alpha Phil Alpha Liberia chapter's president and chief dean, T. Nelson Williams; Alpha Kappa Alpha's medical and relief coordinator, Ellen Pratt; and a representative of the Rotary Club of Liberia.


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