11 May 2017

Liberia: 'Life Threatening Situation'

Photo: Boakai Fofana/AllAfrica
A dedicated ward at the JFK Medical Center.

What appears to be a life threatening situation is said to be taking place at the government's funded James David Memorial Hospital in Neezoe, Paynesville.

Our reporter, who visited the hospital, said caretakers of patients are often asked to pay for gasoline/fuel before the generator is switched on for operation at the hospital.

This situation usually occurs in the case of pregnant women and other patients, who need surgery.

Our reporter, who was on a five-day investigation at the hospital, said he saw family members of three women, who went to the hospital for operation and paid for fuel before they were admitted for operation.

According to our reporter, a young man only identified as Amos,took his fiancé to the hospital for operation but was told to pay for three gallons of fuel in order to put the generator of if he wanted his girl to be operated on. The lady was pregnant in the tube.

As confuse as Amos was and needed his fiancé to undergo the operation, he had no option but to pay for the three gallons of fuel at L$350 per gallon.

Our reporter said the operation was successful and Amos was seen jubilating as he thanked God that he has been freed from what he called trouble.

Why Amos was celebrating for his fiancé's successful operation, a young lady, who could not be operated on perhaps due to complications, was recommended for transfer.

Standing confused, the caretaker of the girl,who was recommended for transfer,was informed that the Ambulance at the hospital did not have fuel to transfer the patient, therefore, he should buy fuel in order to transfer the girl.

Unfortunately, the young lady, who was recommended for transfer,could not use the ambulance because her caretaker did not buy the fuel, instead she was taken to the hospital in a taxi cab, our reporter said.

The five days spent at the hospital during the investigation, our reporter observed that the generator was only put on in the day during operation and thereafter the generator is cut off to save fuel.

The hospital lacks mosquito nets, improved beds and fan to provide protection for mothers and children.

Our reporter said the hospital is usually in darkness during night hours until 8:00 PM before the generator is switched on.

Nurses at the hospital declined to explain reasons for the unhealthy conditions at the hospital when asked by this paper during the investigation.

One of the nurses, who preferred not to be named, told our reporter that the problem has persisted for a very long time because the hospital is not getting the needed support from government.

"You just started seeing this but it is everyday thing here at the hospital. The hospital is free but people are asked here to help themselves if they need services," she said.

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