The first container to Liberia was received at Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita, Liberia after their rainy season. During the rainy season, the trucking route to Tappita from the port in Monrovia was washed out in places and not able to support heavy truck traffic. Consequently, there was a delay in receiving the container’s contents. Jackson F. Doe Hospital, a 250 bed facility, is the major referral hospital for Liberia. It houses the only CT scanner in the country as well as other imaging services not available elsewhere. Consequently, in spite of the fact that it is 6 – 7 hours east of Monrovia by vehicle in the eastern rural district, it is their leading centre. They also accommodate a 6 bed Ebola unit on the outer perimeter of their hospital.
Dr. Francis Kateh, CEO of Jackson F. Doe Hospital, states that the donated “beds have changed the total outlook of the hospital.” They have transformed the character of the hospital. He explains that the replaced beds were improvised structures, not suitable for patient care. They were making do with what they have been given, very inadequate bed frames. A comprehensive report and photos will be provided shortly. Hospital supplies and furnishings are being distributed. The hospitalized children have been so very excited as they receive clothing and toys and the soccer balls and equipment and jerseys are being distributed to the local schools in the adjacent district.
Dr. Francis Kateh is leading the Ebola crisis medical intervention program for Liberia since being appointed by the President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, last August. He reports that during his extensive travels throughout Liberia and Liberia’s health care facilities over the past 8 months, he has had the opportunity to visit and evaluate every hospital, community clinic and Ebola treatment centre. He describes how these facilities are in heartbreaking condition, while depression with hopelessness and helplessness amongst the patients, their families and staff, is evident at the helm. Patients are lying, at best, on iron frames with or without mattresses or lying on carpets on the floor. Resources are scant at best.
The 2nd and 3rd containers are to be released from port in Monrovia next week as final paperwork is now complete. As the Ebola crisis winds down, the established community centres are expected to remain open to support patient care. Dr. Kateh reports that he is earmarking which clinics and hospitals around the country will receive KBNF / Compassionate Resource Warehouse hospital beds. One hospital already confirmed is James Davis Hospital, a maternity hospital in Monrovia, dearly in need.
Dr. Kateh believes that these beds arriving and yet to be shipped will transform these vulnerable centres and bring hope and healing to a hurting nation. His gratitude is palpable. He is anxious to return to Canada and share the stories and photos of the impact our container shipments are making in Liberia.