Monrovia - As the government of Liberia under the tutelage of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf continues to walk its “Last Miles” what have been familiar with it is the dedication and ground breaking of several developmental projects.
Just days following the pre-dedication of the multi-million terminal at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County, President Sirleaf, on Tuesday, December 19 dedicated the newly constructed National Drug Service Warehouse in Caldwell, the Isolation Unit at the redemption Hospital and broke grounds for the construction of the new Redemption Hospital and the Lofa County Road.
At the dedication of the National Drug Service Warehouse, the President noted that her administration in its last days has embarked on these initiatives to pave the way for the successful implementation of the next administration.
“I am quite sure people are asking when they see me this last few days going around, dedicating, breaking grounds and opening places, the question is what’s the President doing? Why is she going to all these places and doing these things?
Simple; we are going to hold the successor government responsible and accountable to finish those things we started and left with them and to maintained those things we have finished,” she averred.
“So we are taking note of all the different things we are doing. And through the transition committee, we will have them discussed with the successor government and we will have a roadmap to make sure that those things that are in preparation and those things that have not yet concluded there will be a mean whereby we will be assured that those things will successfully completed to render the needy services to the Liberian people.”
She said the issue of drugs has always been a major problem in the Liberian health sector and the storage facility will be a major boost in addressing the problem; especially at a time the storage facility at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital was burnt.
The Liberian leader thanked the Ministry of Health, headed by Dr. Bernice Dahn and the government’s partners including USAID, GAVI, Global Fund and World Health organization.
“As we travel around the country and from time to time as we stop at hospital and clinics, the issues of drugs are always an issue."
"Most of the times we talk to healthcare workers, nurses and doctors, they always talk about the problem of drugs."
"At the same time we sometimes find that while the hospitals are lacking in drugs, there is a private operation not too far that is well stocked."
"I am glad that accountability, financial system management is one of those that mentioned that is been included in this new structure.”
“We need to say thank you to all of our partners who have been with us all these many years."
"This structure brings to our memory that it wasn’t too long ago when we have this major fire at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in which drugs were destroyed and facilities were also destroyed. This facility is a state of the art facility and the structure will be protected,”
Also speaking, Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn puts the cost of the facility at a little over US$5 million with the Government of Liberia contributing US$1.2 million and asserted the modern warehouse which is expected to begin functional in January, 2018 replaces the MoH transitional facilities currently at the Freeport of Monrovia.
She averred that prior to the facility; there was no complete and updated infantry and tracking system which lead to persistent disappearance of medical supplies and commodities along the entire supply chain.
“Madam President, our persistent effort to solve our recurrent supply chain issues began four years ago when Dr. Gwenigale was the Minister of Health. I continue the process and with your support and the support of our partners we have this modern facility today that the transitional warehouse will be moved into starting next year. We are putting in system that will track our supplies from here to the end users,” she noted.
Also speaking, an official of USAID noted that the opening of the warehouse also represent a critical step in improving the country’s drug supply chain which is the blood line of a functional and effective health sector.
He added that the facility will help the Liberian Government consolidate its storage capacity and ensure better supply and access to drugs; adding that it also comes with a robust accountability system that will help prevent the perforation and loss of drugs; ensuring that essential health commodities actually reach the Liberia people.
Hasan Kobeissi, Country Director of Dalal Steel Industries noted that the modern 3,000 square meters pharmaceutical warehouse conforms to all international standards and will boost the health sector in the area of prompt delivery of quality drugs and medical supplies.