The Liberian Government has got more problems now perhaps than during the years of violence. The problems are multiple and hugely insurmountable in many respects, and it is glaring that the government does not have answers to all of them.
The Unity Party-led government came to power in 2006, three years after the war ended in 2003. Most Liberians had thought that with the election of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president, she would have used her international contacts and influence to solve the problems. Honestly, she made some efforts in attracting the attention of the international community to focus on Liberia.
It Is A fact that the current administration inherited some huge problems from past governments, but that does not alter the aphorism that government is continuity; therefore, this government is obliged to address the wishes and aspirations of the people.
For Us, We believe that nothing is more critical than the health needs of the Liberian people. Our attention has been drawn to revelation made by Dr. Francis Karteh, head of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County, that there are 150 medical doctors in the country to attend to the health needs of 3.5 million people. Dr. Karteh: “As I speak to you, Liberia has 150 medical doctors, and when you divide this number by the population (3.5 million people), it means that you will have one doctor to 30,000 persons, and this is not good for the development of the country.”
Analytically, Dr. Karteh’s statement is reminiscent of a worst scenario in which the vast majority of the people do not have proper health care due to the brain drain in the medical profession. It is highly probable that the state of our health sector would deteriorate further since medical doctors [including specialists] are inadequate and modern equipment including drugs are sparsely available in our institutions.
The Warning By Dr. Karteh is serious and we now understand why most of our people are dying, while those who have financial capability go abroad to get treatment. It’s not that our medical practitioners are not up to the task; however, as much as they would want to save lives, it is impractical for a doctor to attend to 30,000 people or patients and survive.
Dr. Karteh’s Concern was buttressed by the newly elected Grand Bassa County Senator Lawrence, who said pregnant women in the county were often dying due to the lack of drugs and long distances they cover when in pain before reaching any health post. She said some pregnant women walked between eight and nine hours before reaching a health center, due to bad or lack of roads; some give birth on their journey, while others died in child birth.
These Are Compounding problems that our people are compelled to encounter daily. Along these lines, we encourage the Liberian government to consider additional budgetary allocation for health and health related institutions such as the University of Liberia Medical School, CUC Nursing School, Mother Pattern Institute of Health Sciences as well as consider the construction of additional health schools across the country to tackle the growing health problems.
Dr. Karteh’s Revelation is a clear reality that Liberians are only living by the mercy of God. It would interest you to know that Liberia has one of the worst health cases such as infant mortality, fistula; malaria is still killing and HIV/AIDS is quietly causing more havoc than anyone would imagine.