LIBERIA: Leprosy Patients Stage Protest At Phebe Hospital

Lepers at the Suakoko Leprosy Rehabilitation Center have reconsidered their indefinite sit-in action at the compound of the Phebe hospital after a meeting with county and hospital authorities.

The Lepers early Wednesday morning staged the sit-in at the main entrance of the hospital, preventing vehicles from leaving and entering the compound.

The spokespersons of the Lepers Steve Kennedy and Kusee Armstrong said their action was to draw government’s attention to ensure that it renovates the center where they reside.

They, however, decided to call-off the protest after a meeting with acting Bong County Superintendent Anthony Sheriff and some authorities of the hospital.

The latest action by the Lepers is the result of the refusal of Bong County Health Officer Dr. Sampson Arzoaquoi to allow Team Work Africa, a local non-governmental organization, to carry on renovation work at the center.

According to Dr. Arzoaquoi, government no longer recognizes the center and any attempt to renovate it in the name of helping the lepers will deny the County Health Team legitimate ownership of the facility.

But Steve Kennedy and Kusee Armstrong believe such action by Dr. Arzoaquoi is counter-productive and could undermine the welfare of the Lepers.

It can be recalled; the Lepers two weeks ago stormed the residence of Dr. Arzoaquoi after he denied their presence at the center.

At Wednesday’s meeting, both sides agreed to resolve the issue at a bigger meeting next Saturday that will bring together all sides of the conflict as well as District # 5 Representative Edward Karfiah.

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