28 February 2018

Liberia's Health Minister-Designate Senate Confirmation in Jeopardy

Photo: Liberian Observer
Health Minister-designate Dr. Wilhemina Jallah

Monrovia — This paper has reliably learned that a large number of members of the Liberian Senate Committee on Gender, Health and Children have resolved not to confirm Health Minister designate Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah.

Our source claimed the planned rejection of Jallah comes amid public outcry against her nomination and the committee is preparing to recommend to the President the withdrawal of her nomination.

Our source, who is a well-placed in the legislature, also confided that the Senate would also shortly denied nominees without degrees and their intent will be to set standards for government nominees.

According to our source, the senate is currently discussing on how and what standard to set and will advise the President especially for Assistant Ministers.

"We want to set standards, especially for assistant ministers because they are the technocrats, Ministers and their deputies are political positions."

"So, we are trying to see how we can agreed to denied some of the nominees who are in school and we are doing it in a way that it wouldn't appear that we are fighting the President because we are doing it to help him," our source said.

For Dr. Jallah, her nomination as Health Minister has faced several protests - some for and other against her preferment.

Days after her appointment as Health Minister designate, a family claimed that she's culpable for the death of their relative.

Larry Fahnbulleh, widower of the late Pastor Desiree Fahnbulleh, who led the family protest, is urging President George Weah to withdraw Dr. Jallah's appointment.

"We are hurt, deeply frustrated over the nomination of Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah as Minister of Health Republic of Liberia," said Mr. Fahnbulleh at a press conference on Wednesday, February 7 in Monrovia.

Dr. Jallah is an experienced practicing general physician in obstetrics and Gynecology.

The Health Minister-designate is currently facing a lawsuit for the 'wrongful death' of the late Pastor Desiree Fahnbulleh, who died at her private hospital - Hope for Women International Incorporated hospital - during childbirth on December 8, 2016.

The Fahnbulleh family then filed a US$6 million action of damages for wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital with 6th Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

Meanwhile, the Senate decision to reject several other nominations would affect Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents positions.

President Weah has made more than 80 new nominations in his government has withdrawn one due to Public outcry Charles Gibson, then Justice minister designate. President Weah made the withdrawal on February 7, 2018 in an official communication to the Senate Pro-Temp Albert Chie.

Cllr. Charles Gibson was amongst the first batch of nominees named by the President on Jan. 22 but was delayed by the Senate until his withdrawal after several allegations of unethical practices including a suspension of his license by the Supreme Court.

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