US based Non-Profits Plan Medical Outreach to Liberia: Ambassador Kemayah Commits Government’s Full Support

Amb. Kemayah and Dr. Allam

(New York, January 15, 2018)  A United States based Health Organization, Operation International in partnership with Marcy Health Services, has expressed interest in conducting a Medical Outreach to Liberia.

Operation International is a Medical Non-Profit organization established in 1996 to offer needed medical aid to children and adults in developing countries. It is made up of Twelve (12) teams that travelled across the world to conduct surgical outreaches.

Led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Marcy Health Services, Mrs. Saiyai Hansen, a Team of Doctors and Nurses from Operation International met with Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, His Excellency Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., to seek the Government’s support for the planned Medical Outreach.

Group Photo

Following the introduction of the team by Hon. Rudolph Sherman, Consul General of Liberia in New York; Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sanjay Lalla explained that their team of Medical Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses and  Anesthesiologists are planning to travel to Liberia in June 2019, to provide needed health services in the areas of  General and Plastic Surgery, Pediatrics, Gynecology; and  Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.

Dr. Lalla hinted on the possibility of a partnership with the JFK Hospital that would lead to an annual or bi-annual outreach, and is seeking the support of the Government of Liberia to ensure the safety of his team and the expedited clearing of medical supplies, materials and equipment that would be brought into the Country for the Mission. “We had just concluded our Mission to Uganda and Saiyai and I had a conversation–can we go to Liberia? Can we create a team that can go, and not just go one time? So here we are.  Hopefully, if everything works well, we can continue to grow and provide yearly missions or bi-annual missions, whatever is possible; as long as we are able to go into the Country and be safe and secure. As long as the medical supplies, materials and equipment we bring in can be cleared by the Government of Liberia in time and secure–we are ready to create that partnership. ”

For his part, Ambassador Kemayah welcomed the team and thanked them for their interest in complementing the Government’s effort in ensuring the delivery of quality health care service across Liberia, which is primarily the responsibility of the Government; a responsibility Ambassador Kemayah stressed His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and the Government of Liberia are fully committed to; and implementing.

Ambassador Kemayah explained that the health needs of the people in Liberia are tremendous, particularly those within the rural areas and assured that the Government was fully committed to responding to those needs; exploring every avenue to bring health benefits to the people of Liberia in keeping with the current development mandate of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia.

According to a dispatch from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations, Ambassador Kemayah cited the provision of scholarships to fifteen (15) medical students to study abroad; the placement of Two-thousand (2,000) health workers on government payroll; and the provision of tuition free education to all students at Public Universities; including those studying Health Sciences, as “evidence of the unflinching practical commitment of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and the Government of Liberia to ensuring a quality health service delivery system in Liberia; and improving the Health Sector of Liberia”.

The Liberian Diplomat then expressed interest and the need for a sustained partnership that would go beyond the JFK Hospital, and reach out to the Jackson Fiah Doe Hospital and other health facilities in rural Liberia; including, but not limited to Lofa County, Southeastern Liberia, and Western Liberia.

Ambassador Kemayah also stressed the need for a technical partnership and linkage between Operation International and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Liberia, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia, the only instructional Medical Doctors producing institution in the country; the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC), Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA), Liberia Nursing Association, Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery and other stakeholders in the health sector in Liberia. ” We are interested in a sustained tripartite partnership and not a one shot arrangement or medical outreach to Liberia. As a Government and as the Ambassador representing the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia in New York , the least we will want to see is an outreach that is done on an annual basis to benefit more of our people. I am also concerned about the sustainability aspect. We have a shared vision of capacity building through training and support for medical supplies, materials, equipment and other relevant logistical needs; that is an integral part that we will like to see in this partnership. The Health Sector like other areas, is advancing daily; if you don’t practice and move along with technology you will be left behind. That is where the training comes in. We would like to see it being interlocked with other Medical Stakeholders back home; including the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Liberia, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia, the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC), Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA), Liberia Nursing Association, Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery and other stakeholders in the health sector in Liberia.”

Ambassador Kemayah pledged the support of the Government of Liberia to Operation International and Marcy Health Services’ First Medical and Outreach Mission to Liberia in June of this year – 2019; and proposed that it be used to commission and sign a tri-partite agreement for a sustained partnership for future endeavors in Liberia. ” On behalf of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia, you have our fullest and unflinching practical support towards this mission. You have our commitment to provide all the support required to ensure maximum security for you and your team, and secured movement of the materials, supplies and equipment that you will bring into the Country. You have our commitment to leave no stone unturned in reaching out to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Minister of Health, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Commissioner -General of the Liberia Revenue Authority and other relevant Government agencies to make the necessary representation for the clearing from customs by the Government of Liberia of the needed medical supplies, materials and equipment that you will be bringing in via the Robert’s International Airport (RIA); according to you for this voluntary and humanitarian medical outreach.”

Ambassador Kemayah then accepted and committed to leading the team to Liberia on their First Medical and Outreach Mission; scheduled for June this year. An invitation was also extended to Reverend Mrs. Dialokai Golanyon-Kemayah, a Registered and Ophthalmic Nurse by Operation International in partnership with Marcy Health Services to accompany her husband – Ambassador Kemayah as a part of the Team and Medical Outreach in June this year; given her wealth of experience and knowledge of her nursing profession and passion for the delivery of quality healthcare.

In the quest to promote transparency and accountability, Ambassador Kemayah requested Operation International in partnership with Marcy Health Services to prepare and submit to the Government of Liberia via the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations in New York a concept paper/proposal; detailing the intended Medical and Outreach Mission to Liberia; including, but not limited to the duration, the kinds of surgeries and services to be provided, targeted patients, equipment, supplies and materials to be carried by the Team,  deliverables and timeline. Ambassador Kemayah then stressed that Operation International in partnership with Marcy Health Services should be willing and prepared  as required to make a comprehensive report at the end of the Medical Mission and Outreach to the Government of Liberia; this the Liberian Diplomat will not only ensure transparency and accountability, but will go a very long way giving added impetus for support from the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia.

The Founder and Head of Operation International, Dr. Medhat Allam expressed delight to Ambassador Kemayah; and fully accepted his request as wise to prepare and submit to the Government of Liberia via the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations in New York a concept paper/proposal; detailing the intended Medical and Outreach Mission to Liberia; including, but not limited to the duration, the kinds of surgeries and services to be provided, targeted patients, equipment, supplies and materials to be carried by the Team, deliverables and timeline; and to make a comprehensive report at the end of the Medical Mission and Outreach to the Government of Liberia.

Dr. Allam assured that this would be the start of a fruitful partnership that would go beyond Medical Outreaches to include upgrading of facilities and equipment at Public Health Centers across Liberia; as well as provision of technical support to the Liberia medical and Dental Council and the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.

The delegation that represented Operation International in partnership with Marcy Health Services at the meeting included Dr. Medhat Allam, Co-Founder and Head of Operation International, Mrs. Saiyai Hansen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Marcy Health Services, Dr. Sanjay Lalla, Plastic Surgeon, Operation International, Dr. John O’Shea, Trip Chief, Ms. Erin Morr, APN/Pediatrics, Operation International and Mrs. Evelyn Jones, Consultant, Marcy Health Services.

The meeting was co-facilitated by Hon. Rudolph Sherman, Consul General of Liberia in New York, Mrs. Saiyai Hansen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Marcy Health Services and Mrs. Evelyn Jones, Consultant, Marcy Health Services.

From Vivian Gartayn Lombeh, Minister Counselor/Press and Public Affairs – Liberia Permanent Mission to the United Nations | Tel: (212) 6871033/1034 Email: vlombeh@pmun.gov.lr

(Visited 221 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 14426 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.