Liberia: Pres. Weah Dedicates New Health Facilities at JFKMC

To meet the health needs of the country, and even make it better than many of the countries in the sub-region, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) over the weekend dedicated new health facilities to address the medical needs of patients across the country.

Those facilities include a mobile type of the CT Scan, movable Operating Theaters, Pathology Laboratory, and a Center of Excellence for Infectious Diseases. CT Scan is an X-ray image made using a form of computed tomography in which a computer controls the motion of the X-ray source and detectors, processes the data, and produces the image for doctors to read and diagnose a patient ailing condition.

Dr. Jerry F. Brown, JFKMC Chief Executive Officer, said the dedicatory ceremony is the implementation of Pillar 44 of the government's Pro-poor agenda to ensure that the country's major referral hospitals become equipped to provide quality and affordable healthcare services to all people.

Dr. Brown said the equipment came as part of collaborative efforts of the government and partners to ensure that JFKMC live by her status as the number-one referral hospital in West Africa.

He said the imaging center comprises a CT Scanner, Mammogram Machine, 3D Ultrasound Machine, and two X-ray machines, to enable any detection of breast cancer, and be able to give proper treatment.

"JFKMC having a Pathology Laboratory can now beat its chest in diagnosis, and refer patients to the right doctors for the appropriate treatment, Dr. Brown said. "In the past, everything we were doing was all empirical without knowing exactly what we treated or were sending patients for out of the country to treat."

Dr. Brown said the CT Scanner will play an important role in addressing most of those cases for which people seek medical attention out of the country. He lauded the project is a significant milestone in the improvement of health sectors.

"We have a long list of people who have been waiting for six months to undergo surgical operations because JFKMC had one and a half Operating Theaters. But now with the rehabilitation, we have eight Operating Theaters."

Dr. Brown added, "We will ensure that one of those theaters is equipped to perform eye surgeries and one on the brain and spine."

He encouraged investors to trust the leadership of JFKMC, because they will give fruitful results of the money and equipment donated to the institution.

President George Weah called on authorities of the JFKMC to maintain those felicities given to the hospital, because it will encourage them to do more.

The President thanked the partners for the donation, saying that, with the new facilities, the center can now be considered as a "hospital of choice" for Liberians and other nationals.

President Weah said during the Ebola outbreak, there was no equipment to differentiate between the virus and other sicknesses, so everybody showing slimier symptoms were diagnosed with one problem. He said with the equipment now dedicated, the hospital will help him and other government officials get treatment at JFKMC rather than going out of the country to be treated.

United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder, said one of the U.S. Government's greatest priorities to bring the JFKMC on par with other international health facilities, and enable them to move forward.

She expressed the hope to see JFKMC not just provide basic healthcare, but specialized services for the next generation of doctors and scientists, so as to make the JFK facility a teaching hospital.

About the projects

The Pathology Laboratory is an initiative of JFKMC, Mount Sinai and the Women Global Cancer Initiative that was renovated to provide histological diagnostic services.

The Imaging center was renovated through a collaboration between US institutions -- PREVAIL, National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) -- and the Liberia Ministry of Health and JFKMC. The imaging center is now equipped with a computer Tomography (CT) Scanner and a dedicated powerhouse.

Center of Excellence for Infectious Disease (CEID) is a project done in collaboration with CHEVRON Corporation, USAID and JFKMC. The Refurbished facility, which houses isolated wards for infectious disease patients, offices, a meeting room, laboratory, and a break room, will facilitate the provision of competent professional care to patients afflicted with infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, hepatitis, and meningitis.

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