Liberia's President George M. Weah has promised to seek funding for the construction of a specialized hospital exclusively for the military, while committing to improve their wages and living conditions.
"I want to inform you, that I shall seek funds to build a hospital exclusively for the use of the Army and other security forces. This will be the first ever Military Hospital built in Liberia," Mr. Weah said while addressing soldiers at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) on Monday in observant of the Armed Forces Day, which felt on February 11.
The Liberian Commander In Chief said the hospital will be equipped with the most modern facilities, and will be staffed by highly trained medical personnel.
His plans, he continued is to make it a teaching hospital, "to train our men and women in arms in all medical disciplines," he said. Liberia currently lacks a teaching hospital and many Liberians look forward to see this promise come thru.
As the president indicated in his speech there are no specialized medical facilities here for the military. "Soldiers returning wounded to Liberia from peace missions abroad, have to be evacuated to other countries for the specialized medical treatment that they require. At times, they are even abandoned in our barracks," he added.
He bemoaned that the situation saying, "Our men and women in arms, requiring medical attention, have to travel outside the barracks to seek medical care in private clinics and hospitals, where they are given no priority. Meanwhile, the families of our military personnel many times are left to languish in private wards with no attention".
The president still speaking to the military said his administration is committed to building an Army of professionally trained soldiers, who are well paid, highly educated, professionally trained, comfortably housed, and cared for medically to the highest standards.
While making these commitments, Mr. Weah acknowledged that funding has been a constraint; something he added has hindered the provision of basic social needs for the men and women in arms. He named education, housing and medical facilities as some of the social needs that should be addressed.
"I will instruct the Minister of Defense to begin an immediate assessment of all military housing facilities and report to me within the shortest possible time to enable us understand and begin to find lasting solutions to the problem," he said.
Liberian Commander In Chief also recognized the pivotal role that the military can play in uniting and building a more peaceful and prosperous Liberia as well as make significant contributions within the sub-region, if the they are well funded trained, and equipped with logistics.