Submitted by Steve Doito
Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital which became devastated and hard hit by the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and subsequently shut down its services to the Liberian people, on Saturday, March 11, 2017 memorialized nine dedicated and committed staff who succumbed to the virus during the difficult period of the outbreak.
The unveiling of a monument erected at the main entrance of the hospital’s facility marked a respect in honor of the hospital’s heroes and heroines who became victims as a result of a disease thought to be mare malaria symptom, an extremely common disease in Liberia, led to doctors being infected with the Ebola virus.
The unveiling ceremony brought bitter memories and sober reflections among collogues, relatives, friends and well-wishers of the nine fallen health workers. The ceremony earlier begun with program commemorating the feast of St. John of God and St. Joseph, celebrated as the hospital’s Feast Day 2017.
Rev. Bro. Jesus A. Etayo, Superior General, Brothers of St. John of God, Rome, Italy, said he was happy to visit Liberia for the first time and was delighted to celebrate the great occasion. He expressed thanks and gratitude to workers of the hospital, and that the visit afforded him the opportunity to see the situation first hand.
He also paid homage to the nine dedicated staff of the hospital who died during the difficult period of the outbreak, adding, “The faithfully departed health workers of the hospital will forever be remembered. They have committed their services to humanity and mankind.”
Brother Peter Lansana Dawoh, Hospital Director, narrated the situation in 2005when the hospital was gradually reopening it services to the general public after the crisis, when it was discovered that for it to maintain the confidentiality of her numerous clients safe and securely, there was the need to strengthen her record room.
The present record room, Dawoh continued, was congested and over loaded making it difficult for patients’ records to be filed accordingly, stressing, “apart from been very small, it did not serve its purpose anymore and if caution were not taking to rectify this, it would have been challenging for staff to work there effectively.”
“It was based on this that a project was presented to Juan Ciudad in Spain for Financial support to construct a multipurpose record room. When Juan Ciudad received the project, they presented it to an NGO called Fundación Signos Solidarios which is an NGO belonging to the Missionary Sisters of The Immaculate Conception who were working with this hospital for years. This NGO in turn pleaded with one organization called Asociación Zer07 from Spain who willingly funded the construction of this edifice you see today,” Dawoh indicated.
The new structure, he maintains, has enough space to hold all the records of the hospital, with offices and bathrooms down stairs while the top floor is fully equipped with a conference room, offices and rest room. It is believed that with the new structure, movements and human traffic within the building would be minimized as all record issues would be moved to the new building.
“Gratefully, we express our appreciation and thanks to all those who supported this project. In a very special way, I want to thank the Director of Juan Ciudad Br. Jose Maria Viadero, Ana Mayer, The Provincial Superior Br. Bartholomew A. Kamara and his council for the various contributions they made in the successful implementation of this project. In a very special way, I want to thank the Director of Trinity Construction Company for successfully completing this structure at the admiration of all. At a time when we really needed them,”Dawoh explained.
Lamenting on the nine fallen staff, Dawoh voiced; “They were defenseless, ill-prepared, highly vulnerable and dedicated staff of this Hospital. They shall always be remembered in this hospital and by this administration. It is based on this, that a monument with all their faces has been erected in their hour as we continue to love and pray for them every day.”
Meanwhile, the Hospital Director of the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital, Brother Peter L. Dawoh, has expressed thanks and gratitude to Trinity Construction Company, a Liberian Owned Construction firm for successfully implementing the project in line with specification spelled out in the contract agreement. Brother Dawoh expressed satisfaction over the level of work done by the company while also receiving commendations himself for series of reform initiated by his administration.