LAC 2014 Department of Health and Welfare

Department of Board of Health and Welfare:

The Board of Health is continuously providing policy guidance to our institutions and programs through its quarterly and called meetings, consultations with partners and initiating new partnerships.

Department of Health and Welfare:

The Department is staffed with four personnel; namely Victoria M. V. Tomah (Director), Pauline N. Roberts (HIV&AIDS Focus Person) and Caroline W. Flomo (Conference Center Mini Clinic Attendant and Office Assistant). Bro. Thomas Mallah is also volunteering with us as driver.  It is also regrettable to inform this body for the resignation of the Administrative secretary due to low compensation.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Institutions:

Ganta United Methodist Hospital (GUMH):  In addition to the customary inpatient and out-patient services, the hospital runs six specialized programs, namely VVF/RF Rehabilitation Program, Eye Care Program, HIV&AIDS Program, Dental Care, Nurse Dentist Practitioner Training Program, Diabetes, and Nehnwaa community Outreach program.

Progress/Accomplishments:

The Renovation Work: Portion of the auxiliary ward was converted into Emergency Triage to accommodate emergency patients seeking treatment at the hospital. The unit is now operational and running 24 hours every day and 7 days a week. In the past, patients coming in emergency conditions were treated at the Out Patient Department, thereby interrupting work at the outpatient during emergency situations. This renovation work was one of the capital intensive infrastructural development objectives highlighted in the 2010-2015 strategic plans for the existing medical facility; that is, to implement general renovations of the existing medical center (old hospital). This project was locally funded by the hospital.

Water Supply Restored: Through Operation Classroom’s assistance, we completed a borehole well at the cost of $16,000 USD. The exercise was carried out by Living Water International. All needed connections have been done on the three large reservoirs of the hospital. It is our pleasant joy to report that the issue with chronic shortage of water at the medical center has been resolved.  As with previous years, the severe need for water for daily use at the medical center challenged our work and many times impeded our efforts. We are very thankful to Mr. Robert Coolman and his staff at OC for helping us to accomplish this goal. The next and final step for which we are seeking support is the replacement and/or refurbishment of those old plumbing materials underground that contaminate the clean water as it goes through those pipes placed many decades ago. As a result, the water comes out of the well very clean and drinkable but suddenly becomes infested with some living and non-living contaminants. So, we have water that supposed to qualify for drinking only if we had the proper plumbing work done. Therefore, we are seeking the assistance of water and sanitation specialist who will volunteer his/her service on a short term visit to provide expertise in this needed area. For any interested humanitarian, detailed information about this project will be made available on request.

Human Resource Development Effort: Despite the financial resource constraints on the hospital, the institution has been positioning itself strategically in building its human resource capacity as part of the overall objective to build a qualified medical team for better service delivery.

Accordingly, the following persons are being sponsored in various disciplines and some have completed their studies.

Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing:

Abenego Yeabarkeh — enrolled in March, 2012 in a 2-year Nurse Anesthetist Program and will be graduating early in February, 2014.

Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery (Zorzor, Lofa County):

In April 2013, we graduated the following 3 registered midwives from the above institution. They are: Fannia S. Gonlehtoudea, Kou D. Wonyen and Terlee Joe. They are staffing the Labor and Delivery Wards and performing very well. We are very thankful to our German Church partners for their sponsorship of these midwives. Their investment was truly merited as these professional midwives are making a difference in the lives of our patients.

Cuttington University:

Rebecca Taryor – graduated from the College of Nursing and was sponsored through hospital partnership initiative with UMCOR and has been deployed at the hospital since June 2013 in the Diabetes Clinic as its assistant supervisor. She is currently itinerating with V. Doolakeh Taryor, Hospital Administrator in the United States from November 14, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

Cuttington University Graduate School:

Mrs. Nora Queen Keah-Sande for Masters in Nursing Administration; graduated in June 2013 and is currently serving as Director of Nursing Services. Nora was sponsored by the hospital.

Mr. Victor Doolakeh Taryor enrolled in September, 2011 on a part-time basis, pursuing Masters in Public Administration, but pays his own tuition and fees.

Miss Josephine Gbaryeah for Masters in Public Health, enrolled in September, 2013 and her initial tuition was paid by the hospital while we lobby for sponsorship for her.

United Methodist University:

Mr. Clarence Mehnleh, Ophthalmic nurse, graduated with Bachelor in Nursing on August 13, 2013 and has joined the staff at the Eye Clinic.  Salomie Gblee graduated with BA in accounting. Her support came through the kind courtesy of Mr. Siegfried Ziegler of Germany. Currently, she is working for the period of one year at the hospital before returning to pursue her graduate studies in the related field. Moreover, her salary for the period of one year is being provided through the Siegfried Ziegler’s initiative. The funds to cover her tuition and fees for the graduate program have also been arranged. We are very thankful to Mr. Ziegler for his ongoing support for Ms. Salomie Gblee and the hospital.

Miss Ophelia Jallah for Bachelor in Nursing, enrolled in September, 2013 for a period of 1 year. She is being sponsored by the hospital.

Local and Foreign Medical Schools:

Prince Patrick Myers and Mewaseh Dahn are in their 4th and 3rd year respectively at the Gambia Medical School in Banjul, the Gambia. Both are being sponsored through hospital partnership initiatives. Mewaseh is sponsored by Wesley United Methodist Church in Canton, Illinois, while Prince Patrick Myers is sponsored by the Crusade Scholarship and the Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Dr. Paye Gbarmie graduated from the Dogliotti Medical School, University of Liberia, in May 2012 and is doing his medical residency requirement for two years before coming to take assignment at the hospital. He was supported through the North Carolina Conference’s connection by the Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Dag S. Tokpah, was sponsored through the Crusade Scholarship. He is currently in China in his second year studying medical science at the Liaoning Medical University.

Refurbishing of the existing Hospital Facility: On September 18 and 19, 2013 we hosted a small review committee meeting with our international partners in Ganta to reconsider the plan for the New Hospital Construction. The September gathering in Ganta was attended by some prominent people such as Rev./Dr. John G. Innis, Mrs. Victoria M. V. Tomah, Bro. Rudolph Merab, Mrs. Mary Zigbuo, Ms. Nyamah Dunbar, Mr. Siegfried Ziegler, Dr. David Kialain, and Mr. V. Doolakeh Taryor and others.   The two-day consultative meeting ended with a unanimous recommendation for the Liberia Summit held in November, 2013 in Alton, Illinois, USA.

The recommendation considered the replacement of the New Hospital Construction Plan with the Refurbishing and Expansion of the existing hospital facility. The major reasons being the huge costs associated with constructing a completely new medical center, and the distance between the existing hospital facility and the location of the New Hospital Construction site which would have created serious problem with coordination of health personnel during the transition, as adequate funding would not be available to construct the facility in one phase for a wholesome transfer of workers to the new location.

We are pleased to report that the topographic map and floor plan of the existing hospital facility has been established to provide a baseline data. The next step is consultations with stakeholders and development of the LOGIC plan before the development of the ARCHITECTURE design and work plan for the expansion project. This brief information is relevant to keep the LAC/UMC aware of the ongoing conversation and on the progress we have made so far on the new hospital initiative and to seek their support towards this end. It is important to mention that the Liberia Annual Conference commitment to the project is seven hundred fifty United States dollars ($750,000 USD) to be paid over the period of five years.

Robust action by the LAC/UMC will encourage and heighten external donor support and involvement in this worthy endeavor.

 ELECTRIC POWER GENERATOR: In August 2012, the only reliable generator (82.5 KVA) for the hospital developed a major technical problem leading to power outage of the entire facility. According to technical report, the 8 year-old pre-owned power generator units were no more viable to accommodate the current load of the hospital. As a result, a 110 KVA generator was procured on credit. Through the assistance of friendly churches and UMCOR, the payment was made during the first quarter of 2013. We are very appreciative to the following churches and individuals for their generous donation: United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR; Brenda Booth and Dr. Wesley Jones of Haymount UMC in North Carolina ; Barbara Fillion of Hyde Park Community UMC of Cincinnati, Ohio; Haymount UMC  North Carolina; Trinity UMC, Denver, Colorado; Littleton UMC, Denver, Colorado, Rev. Jakes Saye Voker and his congregation,  Wisconsin and Asbury UMC, Madison, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the 110KVA is presently under repair; again forcing us to revert to the use of bedside lamps at the hospital during the night. Currently, there is a West African Power Pool in Ganta. Many business centers are using the electricity at twenty five cents per KWH. Through Bishop Innis influence, Ganta Hospital has been connected, but electricity has not yet reached many of the service areas because the capacity of the transformer placed on the hospital’s premises is very low to supply those areas. Accordingly, the Mission Station is yet to receive current due to lack of higher capacity transformer (ie: 200 KVA) and appropriate wiring system in some residential and ministry areas of the Mission Station. The management of LEC is asking the Mission Station to provide this transformer before the Station can be connected.

DONATION/VISITATION:

  • Mr. Steffen Bastian Visits Ganta Hospital.On Wednesday, April 17, 2013
  • Bro. Rudolph Merab and Victor Doolakeh Taryor had the opportunity to make an appointment to meet with Mr. Steffen Bastian, a member of the German high level delegation to Liberia. The visit of the German delegation to Liberia was intended to open the forum for discussion with Liberia high level officials in both public and private sectors in exploring avenues for foreign direct investment in the various segments of the Liberian economy. Mr. Steffen Bastian, CEO of P.E.A.C.E Power, met with Bro. Rudolph Merab and Victor Doolakeh Taryor. During the meeting with Mr. Steffen Bastian the following issues were discussed:
  • The introduction of ‘STATION 5’ in the infrastructure development of the hospital. Station 5 is a modular housing design that is customized to address accommodation need for staff and hospital facilities.How social responsibility of German investment in Liberia could trickle down to supporting health care work at Ganta United Methodist Hospital.
  • On Thursday, April 18, 2013, Mr. Bastian paid a one day visit to the hospital and had discussion with key personnel on a number of issues.  He also donated a brand new laundry machine for the hospital. This interaction was made through the partnership connection of Mr. Siegfried Ziegler from Germany.

The Mission Station Maintenance Ministry through the Station Superintendent, Rev. Priscilla Legay Jaiah, donated one huge hog as an Independence Day’s gift to the patients. The animal was so large that the patients ate the meat for over two weeks. We are very appreciative and thankful for this donation.

 

  • Paul Renaud, Aid Procurement Director of Stop Hunger Now with headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, visited the hospital from July 13 – 18, 2013. His trip was intended to learn more about our work and to identify ways that his organization can support the hospital and the community further. In December 2012, Stop Hunger Now donated a container of medicines and medical supplies to the hospital. Subsequently, in November, 2013 Paul sent another 40ft container consisting of medicines, medical supplies and micronutrient foods to the hospital. The assorted supplies were very needed and helpful.  Our patients are fed with this food item twice a week and they have developed good appetite for it. The hospital’s needs for some essential medical supplies have been considerably relieved as a result of the donated items. Paul’s interest and support for the hospital is ongoing, as he and his team are preparing another container for Ganta Hospital soon.

 

  • In April, 2013 Mrs.Marie Baar Davis paid a private visit from the USA to Ganta and was privileged to tour the hospital facility. She was touched by the hard work and commitment of the workers at the hospital while working under the severe lack of medical and janitorial supplies at the hospital. Therefore, shortly after her return to the United States of America, she committed herself to creating community awareness for the support of the hospital under the banner, ‘Friends of Ganta’. Shortly after her visit, we received some housekeeping supplies which included 5 mop buckets sets, cleaning detergents, Etc. She promised that this effort would be ongoing
  • .In June 2013, we received a 20 foot container through Phebe Hospital from the Brothers’ Brother Foundation in USA; it contained assorted medical supplies that helped us a lot for awhile.
  • During every conference year, the local churches of the Gompa District Conference, LAC/UMC, donate variety of locally grown foods for our patients at the hospital. These donations are very helpful each year for the patients and for the administration by reducing the cost of feeding the patients.
  • During the Conference year under review, the hospital received food donations from women of the following churches:Garr Area UMC, Garr Clan, Nimba County; Yarmehnsonon Area UMC; Deakehmein UMC; Gbeleye UMC; and  Kpein UMC.

 

CHALLENGES:

Strike/Salary Incentive:

The administration gave 30% salary incentive to all middle level healthcare employees in March, 2012.  Due to financial constraint, one month arrear is still pending.  The incentive was intended to curb the serious staff recruitment and retention problems confronting the hospital among registered nurses mainly due to low salary.  We have not seen a dramatic improvement yet, but the tension and resignation have eased somewhat among the nursing staff.

Recently, workers of the Maintenance Department held the hospital hostage for 5 hours for pay raise. During the 5 hours, there was no current and water and they also asked the kitchen staff to stay away; so there was no food for the patients on that day. We negotiated and the strike was cut off, but they gave the administration 2 month-ultimatum to meet their demand. We are very thankful to Rev. Priscilla Legay Jaiah for intervening and for augmenting the hospital fund to pay the maintenance workers before the Independence Day Holidays. Therefore, we compromised with this category of staff on a 15% salary increment that is due to start on January 1, 2014. Despite the low salary structure, most of the workers remain loyal and committed to achieving the goals of the institution. We are thankful to them for their sacrifices in serving the poor rural inhabitants.

Scarcity of Operational Fund/Deletion of Ganta Hospital from the Annual Subsidy:

Finding financial resources to purchase fuel for the generators, purchase essential drugs & medical supplies, improve salary for staff, and prevent delay in paying staff salaries in a timely manner, are among the many ongoing constraints. In the midst of these ongoing challenges, the Ganta United Methodist Hospital was deleted from the annual subsidy of 2013/2014 National Fiscal Budget. While it is true that the funding provided by the Liberian Government through its annual budgetary allocation has not fully supported the operations of the hospital, it has been very helpful in procuring some diesel fuel for electric power generation and medicines and medical supplies for the hospital. This current development diminishes our ability to procure medicines and medical supplies in the quantity to sustain the supply chain of the hospital. The resultant lack of power, drugs and medical supplies for a major referral hospital like ours is seriously affecting the smooth functioning of the hospital. For instance, unlike the past, the hospital is currently unable to stock the pharmacy with essential drugs and medical supplies to be made available for patients as the doctors prescribe them. As a result, we send many patients to the community pharmacies and drugstores to buy these supplies for their treatment. This situation is beginning to tarnish the good image that the hospital has enjoyed in the past and diminishing our main revenue source (the Pharmacy), as the money goes into the community coffers instead of the hospital’s.  The management of the hospital is therefore appealing to all stakeholders and patriotic citizens of Liberia to get involved in finding funding supports for this major health care delivery facility that caters to majority of the poor rural population in Nimba County and surrounding Countries. When this trend continues, we will not be able to rescue this hospital; and the health care delivery goals of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia will surely be frustrated.

In view of the gravity of this crisis situation, our management deems it a necessity to advance the following recommendations for timely consideration:

  • The Liberia Annual Conference to form a strong delegation to meet the President of Liberia, Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to appeal to the lawmakers to reinstate and increase the subsidy for the hospital;

 

  • The Liberia Annual Conference to launch an immediate and massive appeal, both nationally and internationally, in order to rescue the hospital; and

 

  • The Liberia Annual Conference, as matter of urgent necessity, should take a timely decision to negotiate a Public-Private Partnership initiative with the Government of Liberia as a means of a long-term solution to the current crisis.

 

Our dear members of this Health Board of the LAC/UMC, the reality on the ground dictates that if nothing substantial is done to mitigate this crisis in shortest possible time, the hospital services to the public will reduce to a clinic level initially. But involuntarily, it might shut down eventually against our wishes if this deteriorating circumstance is not rescued.

Activity Highlights of Some Service Areas

 

  • The Ganta United Methodist Hospital Diabetes Project continues to create more awareness in the community via Radio Talk Show on every Friday and in the Hospital’s Chapel once a month.  Currently, the outreach component of the project is limited due to lack of transportation.  Therefore, most screening is done at the base clinic where 718 patients are currently in care. One of the staff, Miss Comfort V. Somah, supervisor of the clinic, was awarded two-month scholarship in Dar-el- Salem, Tanzania for Peer Education training in Diabetes care and treatment. Her short term training was sponsored by World Diabetes Foundation. She is since back on the staff and providing diabetes care with compassion.

 

  • The Eye Clinic is operational and a performance result from service delivery is barely satisfactory. There is no functioning vehicle to facilitate the planned outreach activities that help would bring more patients to the clinic for treatment. Therefore, the attendance is very low, leading to low revenue generation. Beh Marweah Gehyi, Cataract Surgeon, is the head of the clinic since the resignation of Dr. Joseph Kerkula. Mr. Clarence Menleh, an Ophthalmic Nurse who was on one year study leave, graduated from United Methodist University on August 13, 2013 and has joined the staff at the clinic.
  •  The Nehnwaa Project supported by USAID Child Survival Grant phased out on September 30, 2013. The final evaluation for the Nehnwaa Project after the five years of implementation was conducted in September, 2013 by a USAID hired evaluator. The findings were shared with the Nimba County Health Team, UMC Health Coordinator, and other local and international health partners through debriefing and a day conference held in Monrovia. At the end of September, 2013, out of the 32 Nehnwaa Project staff, 4 were retained by Curamericas to continue the Microfinance and the Community-Based Case Management (CCM) project up to the end of February, 2014. The CCM staffs are working with the gCHVs from 60 communities, doing simple home treatment of Malaria, Diarrhea, and acute Respiratory Infections and encouraging health facility referral. Another 3 of the staff were retained by Ganta Hospital (including the Project Manager). The 2 are vaccinators to continue with the vaccination activities of the women of reproductive ages, children under five, and the Family Planning program functioning at the hospital. The Project Manager was to sit in and follow up with potential donors for funding the project.

At the end of September, 2013 a 3-month stop gap funding request was sent to UMCOR to cover the gap that was created as a result of the ending of the USAID funding which was the main source of support for the Nehnwaa Project. We are pleased to report that the funding was approved and sent in late December, 2013. The Project resumed on January 1, 2014 with 18 of the old Nehnwaa staff who signed a 3-month contractual agreement to end on March 30, 2014.

In December, 2013, Cuamericas backstop conducted an inventory on the assets that were purchased by via the funding from USAID. Eventually, about 90% of the assets were turned over to the GUMH Nehnwaa Project in order to continue the community work. Those assets included 1 Land Cruiser Jeep, 1 Projector, 8 Computers, and 2 Printers. During the same month, Mrs. Piper Grisovan, the CBPHC technical advisor from UMCOR, visited Ganta Hospital and held a meeting with Mrs. Victoria Tomah (Health Director, LAC/UMC), Mr. Patrick Mantor (Acting Administrator, GUMH) and Mr. Allen Zomonway (Project Manager, Nehnwaa Project), regarding the sustainability plans of the Nehnwaa Project. One key idea that dominated the brainstorming was to pursue NGO registration in order to fetch for support from both her Mission connections and outside the NGO circle.

  •  The Dental Clinic is currently operating at full swing. Dr. Sundeep Franklin, Dentist from India, has come on staff and very motivated and hard working. We are very pleased to have a compassionate caregiver like he is. Since his arrival, he is attracting many clients for dental service to the hospital, while at the same time directing the Nurse Dental Practitioner Training Program. The students are prospective graduates of the Nurse Dental Practitioner training under the United Methodist University and the Ganta United Methodist Hospital. Mrs. Sandy Harland, Dental Hygienist, visited the hospital and volunteered her services to the Dental Department for the entire month of December. She also brought with her (from the United States) some essential dental supplies that helped a long way. She was a great help especially at the time the students were gone for the Holiday seasons. Sandy and her late husband (Bob Harland, Dentist) serve as missionary couple who diligently and faithfully served the hospital from 1988 to 1990 only to be forced out by the brutal Liberian civil war. The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, promised to commit a dentist to the clinic when the Liberian-Israelis Friendship physicians arrive. It is still not known when the physicians will arrive in Liberia. It will be a blessing if the Liberian Government assigns another dentist to the hospital to buttress the fine work that Dr. Sundeep Franklin is doing.

Staff Updates: During the period under review, Dr. Elma Jocson, a medical doctor assigned by the GBGM tour of duties expired, so has returned home. In early July, 2013, Dr. Albert G. Willicor, Chief Medical Officer at the hospital sustained fractures and was on sick bed for about 3 months. He sought treatment at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia and the progress indicates that his treatment outcome was encouraging. As a result of this injury, many patients were turned away and surgeries cancelled because the only remaining physician available, Dr. Claude Monga, could not contain the influx.

We launched a SOS call and the Government of Liberia sent Dr. Musa Zuanah for a limited period of time. Given the extraordinary endurance of Dr. Willicor, one physician was not enough to replace him, so we went out and hired another doctor (Dr. Charlie) to contain the situation. Our proposal to UMCOR for the support of Dr. Charlie was accepted and approved. Since then, Dr. Charlie’s salary support is still provided by UMCOR. We thank Shannon Trilli for her unwavering interest and support for Ganta United Methodist Hospital.

Diecke United Methodist Clinic

During the reporting period, the outpatient unit recorded 1810 patients; 864-patients were admitted, 92-normal deliveries, 78-Maternity Visit, Dental Care-58, 23-C-section, 93- general surgery, 1566-laboratory visits, and 5,373-pharmacy visits (Table-1).

Staff Update: The clinic is currently staffed by (1) physician, two (2) Laboratory Technicians, two (2) Nurses one (1) Certified Midwife, one (1) Trained Traditional Midwife, six (6) Nurse-aides and six (6) Supportive staff. The total employee at the clinic is 19, excluding three (3) contractors.

We are also pleased to report that the overall construction of the Diecke United Methodist Clinic has been completed and dedication done .We are now in conversion with our oversea partners regarding logistical and infrastructural requirements such as water-well; out-door toilet, equipment and others that will enable us  moving to this building.

Utilization Table  During the Twelve months period, we received 3,029 patients, Males 1,343 accounting for 44% while females were 1,686 with 66%. 837 children (0-14) were received with 29% while 1,798 were adult with 71%.  Ninety-three (93) of the patients received were referred accounting for 3%. Amongst the Eighty-three (83) referrals eighteen (18) were anemic with severe malaria, among 16 were enfant (0-5yrs.) and 2 pregnant women. However, 43 of the referred patients were HIV/AIDS positive which account for 51.8% of the referrals. Usually, we referred HIV/AIDS positive patients to Ganta Methodist Hosp. and the Government Hospital in N’zerekore for medication and cares because at our facility we lack the requisite medication for them.

The total patients treated at the facility were 2,926 (96.5%).  Meanwhile, 2910 were successfully treated while 16 died. Amongst the 16, 5 were infants (0-5yrs) who died of severe malaria, while 7 were adult.

George Z. Dean Memorial Clinic: The Clinic provides medical services to students, staffs, and community dwellers far and near, the surrounding of Camphor Mission. The clinic’s catchment area covers about 62 towns and villages. The clinic has a strong outreach program that does a routine immunization and health educations in the villages and market grounds.

During the period of one year,104new born babies were given BCG, 370 Women of reproductive age both pregnant and non pregnant given TT shots, 689 children vaccinated with penta and OPV, and Polo campaign, OPV 992, 7 Children with yellow fever and measles.

The Grand Bassa County Health Team continues to support the Clinic with supervisions and capacity building training. During the period under review, many partners were received and donations were made. We received Debra Moore a Missionary from Detroit, Michigan who worked with the clinic for two Months. She also helped in feeding of the pregnant women and patients who attended the clinic .September 17, 2013 we received Beth from east Ohio who worked with the Clinic for two weeks and provided medication.

Furthermore, we are pleased to inform this gathering that the Trinity United Methodist Church of Denver, Colorado has been engaged to compensate us with George Z Dean Clinic salary support and has consented for 2014. This development is a great relief for us because UMCOR’s three year salary support to the clinic comes to an end as of December 2013. This is the same Trinity United Methodist Church that sponsored our TBA project at Camphor from 2009 to 2012

John Dean Town United Methodist Clinic The clinic’s catchment area covers about 35 towns and villages that are scattered across the south eastern newcess area of Grand Bassa County, this area borders Rivercess County. The inhabitants of these villages are mainly engaged in subsistence farming and petite trade.

The clinic is open for outpatient services throughout. There have been few instances of short stay. During this period, the clinic recorded four hundred thirty-six (436) patients with Ninety-four (94) been male while three hundred forty-three (343) been women and children. During the period under review, we undertook a cassava farm project for the clinic. The farm is now reaping for harvest.

It has been widely established in several surveys that maternal and new born health is a critical issue in rural Liberia. Therefore, we made it one of our priorities since the opening of the clinic. In this regard, we have begun meeting with the Town chiefs, TBAs in the catchment area and asking them to encourage pregnant women in their communities to come to the facility for prenatal care and delivery. We are also encouraging them to see themselves as general community Health Volunteers (gCHVs) to report cases of emergencies to the health facility, especially cases involving pregnant women and children less than five years.

We are grateful to report that during the period under review, some assorted drugs were disbursed to the clinic. Brothers and Sisters, we are also happy to report that the Ann Anbor District of the Detroit Annual Conference has expressed interest in sponsoring community health project at John Dean Town. The District has begun raising funds for the Community Based Primary Health project and had sent the first team of volunteers to Liberia in January 2014.

Weala United Methodist Clinic  During the period under review, the clinic received a medical team from the United States and Nigeria who provides free serves and surgical procedure to patients. The Officer-in-Charge at the Weala United Methodist Clinic, Ms. Kennea Brown, has officially resigned due to fostering her education. The clinic continues to provide services to the staffs, students and community members.

Preventive Health Programs and Workshop During the period under review, Two days refresher training workshop was held at Camphor mission for 48 TBAs from May 9-11, 2013.  We also participated in a one week Information Education and Communication /Behavior Change Communication workshop sponsored by Net for Life , The Episcopal Church of Liberia.

During the period under review we also participated in a African Health Forum in Ghana, sponsor by UMCOR.

We started implementing the first phase of our Imagine No Malaria (INM) Project in August 2013. This phase being reported covered three months, August, September and October, 2013.The implementation covered training of 30-allied health workers from our health facilities and six other public and private health institutions in Nimba County. The training was conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Social welfare. Other activities included were the purchasing and distribution of anti-malaria and related drugs to the four United Methodist Clinics and the restructuring of the Diecke Clinic’s lab. This involved purchasing of a 10KVA Generator, Electronic Microscope, Reagents, etc.

Challenges:

  • The most critical challenge we have are the impending financial crisis hanging over our largest facility, the Ganta United Methodist Hospital (GUMH).
  •  Salary increment of health workers.The need of qualified staff persons, such as Certified Midwife, Nurse Anesthetic, another Medical Doctor or Physician Assistant who are highly needed to beef up the work force and performance of Diecke.

Recommendations:

  • The convening of an urgent LAC/UMC’s leadership meeting in not more than the next two weeks to strategize ways to rescue the hospital.  As you are aware, the hospital is the symbol of our healthcare intervention and make up our in-service training and coordination center.
  • As we are about to transition to the new  facility, We recommend that the leadership of the Guinea  Ministry helps to negotiating with potential partners to provide essential medical equipment, supplies, furniture and salary for potential  staff like (certified  midwife, Medical Doctor or A physician Assistant

Commendations: The Health Department extends gratitude to Bishop John G. Innis, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR),  The Trinity Church In Denver, Colorado USA, The East Ohio Conference, The Michigan Annual Conference, The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare , The Faith based organization,  the Connectional Table, Officers and Members of the Board of Health and Welfare, and the entire leadership of the LAC/UMC as well as the Government and People of Liberia and all partners in health for their numerous supports to the Department.

Respectfully Submitted

Victoria M. V. Tomah
Director of Health & Welfare, LAC/UMC Board of Health and Welfare: