Minister Zolia says it's 'one of the two "nothings" that President Sirleaf has accomplished... '
Deputy Health Minister for planning, policy, and research, Yah M. Zolia, told a gathering of Cape Mountainians last Friday in Bo-Water Side, Tewor District, Cape Mount that they are among the luckiest Liberians as they stand to acquire a modern health facility in five months' time.
"In about five months, a health center that we are breaking ground for today will be constructed to serve the needs of Liberians and Sierra Leoneans on either side of the border in Bo-Waterside," she told a gathering at the ceremony.
This is one of the successful projects that many Liberians have unfortunately failed to acknowledge, and have instead described the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as "doing nothing," said Madam Zolia.
The other "nothing," she said, is the provision of 10 scholarships through the Ministry of Health's (MoH) Cross-Cultural Peers for prospective doctors for the center.
The US$440, 000 center will have a two-bedroom duplex staff quarters, 10-bedroom maternal ward, operating center, and a pediatric ward.
Zolia recounted the emergence of the insidious Ebola disease that sneaked into Liberia from Sierra Leone and the necessity for the construction of a health center that would take care of the health needs of the people.
The funding for the project is a donation from the West African Health Organization (WAHO) through the MoH.
Minister Zolia urged the beneficiaries to work with the Liberian-owned construction company, Afro Construction Company, to provide workers from the county to complete the project in time. The company's chief executive officer, Morris Kaliva, agreed to draw workers from the county, particularly from the district.
She had earlier said the project came about when President Sirleaf, as chair of ECOWAS, expressed the need for a center to cater to the needs of both Liberians and Sierra Leoneans at that particular border point.
Tewor District Commissioner Haja Fahnbulleh, on behalf of the county, commended the government and WAHO for the project and pledged their fullest cooperation to get the job done.
In his message the Special Representative of ECOWAS president Babatunde Ajisomo, expressed satisfaction over the groundbreaking and called on Liberians and Sierra Leoneans to take ownership of the project.
Dr. Patrick Kamara of the Cape Mount County Health Team commended WAHO for the project. He explained the frustration felt whenever a patient would have to be sent elsewhere because of inadequate materials to address their needs.
He spoke about several challenges and hoped that the completion of the center will provide great relief to the community and assured the MoH and WAHO of their cooperation to get the job completed at the stipulated time.
said a special will team will return to the site of the construction to follow its progress. "In the five months it will take to see the completion of the project, we will be coming to get updates of the construction,"said Dr. Laurent Assogba, deputy director general of WAHO, .
Momolu V. O. Sirleaf, WAHO Liaison Officer, gave an overview of the project and urged the future beneficiaries to make sure that they take ownership of the center.
An elder who spoke through an interpreter commended WAHO and the MoH and calledddd for the timely completion of the center "So that I can get benefits from it before I die," as the gathering broke into laughter.
The Mano River Union (MRU) Cultural Troupe climaxed the ceremony by entertaining the crowd.