By Emmanuel Weedee-Conway *
In continuation of its support to Government of Liberia (GoL) to combat the novel coronavirus disease, the health NGO Refuge Place International (RPI) has extended its gesture to Bong and Nimba Counties with the donation of four factory-made oxygen concentrators to treatment units.
Established by the former Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Mosoka P. Fallah, RPI is working across Liberia to improve health outcomes for poor communities in Liberia. The health NGO aims to create a replicable health care model for urban slums and poor rural communities in Liberia, with the goal of reducing the high maternal, neonatal and child mortality rate and making quality health care accessible to all.
As part of its support to the health sector, the organization donated two 10-liter factory-made oxygen concentrators to the Bong County Treatment Unit and another two to the Nimba County Treatment Centers situated at the EJ and J Hospital and the Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital.
Speaking during the donation ceremonies, the Chief Deputy Executive Director og RPI, Mr. James Suah, the 15 oxygen concentrators were in continuation of the institution’s support towards the covid-19 intervention led by the Liberian government, who ensured that the fight of the third wave reduced to a significant level.
The donation of the oxygen concentrators to the two counties came barely after a week of the donation of 11 concentrators to health facilities across Montserrado.
Some of the treatment centers that benefited from RPI’s initial humanitarian gesture included the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, the Star Base Treatment Unit, Redemption Hospital and the 14 Military Hospital.
The gesture by RPI is in continuation of its ongoing support to the Liberian government ensuring that the virus is eradicated from the country.
It could be recalled that RPI in July extended bigger hands to the GoL and its people with the donation of 114 oxygen regulators to the Ministry of Health for onward distribution to other health facilities across the country and another 57 to five leading hospitals, namely; John F. Kennedy Medical Center, the Redemption Hospital, ELWA Hospital, Catholic Hospital and the James David Hospital. Prior to that, the organization had previously donated 44 sets of oxygen regulators, several bags of rice and buckets to the Star Based Treatment Unit at the Zone on the Bushrod Island44 sets of oxygen regulators, several bags of rice and buckets to the Star Based Treatment Unit at the Zone on the Bushrod Island.
“On behalf of Dr. Fallah and the RPI family, we have come to donate these oxygen concentrators to aid you in the performance of your assigned duties. The total that came to country were 15 pieces, and we donated 11 in Montserrado and the other four were earmarked for both Bong and Nimba Counties,” he state as he turned the equipment over to health officials in Bong and Nimba Counties respectively.
According to him, the issue of concentrators and regulators have been serious at the health facilities across Liberia and so the organization with support from its international partners, decided to step in to assist the Liberian government.
Unlike the ordinary oxygen machine, Suah indicated that the oxygen concentrator does not need refilling; rather, it needs only electricity to operate.
In response, the recipients lauded RPI for considering counties outside of Montserrado in its ongoing health assistance program.
Dr. Netty Joe, County Health Officer (CHO) of Nimba County, said the county’s health officials have tremendously performed at the highest level to avoid referral as Montserrado itself is overwhelmed with different health cases.
Dr. Joe said the donated items will be used for the intended benefit of the people of Nimba County, stating that they will equaled shared between the two treatment units; EJ and J and JFD.
“We want to thank you for your support, and equally call on you for more support in different areas of health concerns. Our facilities are becoming to be overwhelmed by different cases, and we must battle those cases. Our treatment units must not be a death sentence, and so we need more support,” Dr. Joe asserted.
Dr. Jonathan Flomo, County Health Officer of Bong County, like Dr. Joe, and also pleaded for more support and vowed to ensure that the donated concentrators are used for their intended reasons.
“This should not be the last. We pray that your donors and partners will help you so that we at this level will benefit,” he urged.
Prior to this donation, he said there was only one oxygen concentrator at the Bong County treatment unit.
“Before you came here, we had just one concentrator, and so these donated concentrators are going to augment the efforts of health workers at the facility. The Bong County Health Team will use these items to make sure the people of Bong benefit in terms of emergency; in terms of infectious diseases and in terms of other diseases that need oxygen,” Dr. Flomo added.
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