4 January 2019

Liberia: Sasstown Tarpaulin Hospital Cries for Help

Dr. Dorbor (L) listens to Rep. Koffa during an interactive forum.

Dr. Flomo Dorbor, Chief Medical Director of Domo Nimene Memorial Maternity hospital in Upper Sasstown, Grand Kru County, commonly known as the Sasstown Tarpaulin Hospital, says the facility is in desperate need of a new edifice in order to change the deteriorating tarpaulin that has been in use as an expansion compartment.

The facility was built in 1984, but was elevated to a full hospital status in 2016, with the obstetrics, psychiatric, emergency, and operation wards built with tarpaulin.

Dr. Flomo told the Daily Observer that the hospital is in need of equipment, medicine, utility vehicles, furniture, electricity, and food for patients and staffs. Some staffs, according to him, are not on government payroll but survive only on handouts.

Dorbor made the disclosure on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, when Grand Kru County District #2 Representative J. Fonati Koffa paid a courtesy visit to the Nimene Memorial Facility hospital, the only health center in Sasstown.

As of Wednesday, he has "successfully" performed 965 operations since June, 2016; but he is considering quitting surgical procedures because of the lack of proper surgical tools and essential drugs.

"I am also assigned at the Rally Time Hospital in Grand Kru County, and so I am between the two hospitals. I ride motorbikes, risking my life as a medical doctor. I am doing it because I want to save lives. But this cannot be going on, so we need your assistance," Dr. Dorbor told Rep. Koffa.

Administrator Blamoh Sieh said that the hospital is vulnerable, without a fence, and sometimes they never cook for staffs and patients because there is not any food.

Partial view of the Sasstown Tarpaulin Hospital

Physician Assistant Martin Sengbe, Registered Nurse Janetta W. O'Dorbor, and the Operation Room Technician and Supervisor Albert Togba, separately thanked Rep. Koffa for contributing a generator; but they called on him to lobby with his colleagues and kinsmen, including President George Weah, Dr. Francis Nah Kateh, who is the country's Chief Medical Officer, Minister Eugene Nagbe, and Senator Peter Coleman to help the hospital.

"Please tell them to come home and help us, because we need to change the infrastructure in a way that can meet modern standards," Sengbe said.

The hospital receives not less than 26 patients on a daily basis;but when there are drugs, the hospital receives a little over 93 patients daily.

Residents from other statutory districts, including Jloh, Kplio, Buah, Forpoh, and Jrao also come to the facility for treatment.

Reagan S. Bropleh, the Monitor and Evaluation Officer of the County Health Team, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said the county was among the first in 2018 that provided her health report timely to the ministry in Monrovia.

In response, Rep. Koffa expressed regret about the situation, but promised to solicit help from his kinsmen and partners.

Besides the generator and the fuel, Koffa said, at the end of the month, he will provide an additional solar panel and monthly food for staff and patients.

He also promised to lobby with his kinsmen, including the President, who is expected to visit Sasstown in March this year.

Two of the patients, Munah Dorbor, 28, and Elizabeth Nah, 39, told journalists that they gave births to their three and four children respectively but lack support.

"Sometimes when we come here and the doctor examine us, we only get the names of the medicine to buy. We want our people in the city to help us," Elizabeth said.

Authors

Leroy M. Sonpon, III

Liberia

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