MONROVIA – Pregnant women, especially those traveling from towns and villages far away from medical centers in Lofa County, are expected to benefit from the construction of 12 housing units to alleviate the numerous constraints they encountered while seeking adequate healthcare delivery.
The women have been catching hell by commuting and sitting for hours on commercial motorbikes and vehicles and sitting for several hours just to give birth at public health facilities mainly in Fissebu and Zorzor districts. Hammocks and wheelbarrows are also being reportedly used to transport them to the facilities.
Some even trekked long distances just to get to those facilities for maternal healthcare, while others renege on visiting to get their regular medicines due to the distances from their homes to the facilities. Few others lost their lives or the lives of their unborn babies before reaching these medical centers while en route on foot.
As part of efforts to address the situation, the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Executive Director of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), Mr. Quiwu Pepci Yeke, over the week end broke grounds for the construction of the housing units to address the situation.
He also paved the way for the construction of another five housing units for doctors and nurses assigned at the clinic in Salayea a nd separate city halls for residents of Zorzor and Fissebu.
Speaking during a brief ceremony marking the event, Mr. Yeke disclosed that the move was in fulfillment of promises made to the locals by President George Manneh Weah during his nationwide tour.
Some time ago, the Liberian Chief Executive toured the 15 political sub-divisions of the country to listen and help address the plights confronting the citizens.
He used the occasion to inform the citizens that President Weah has made a decision to construct his dwelling place in Fissebu, Lofa County.
“People can be thinking where is Zorzor or Fissebu so, these housing units will be between the two areas because of the interconnection of the two towns because we are all one people. If you can recall during the county tour, the President decided to sleep in Fissebu because of the love he has for the people. The President wants that when he comes to Lofa, he has a home here and so, the landlord should help find the land and we will make sure that the house is constructed before January 2023. Fissebu has been the chosen one in Lofa and so, don’t miss that opportunity”.
“The essence of these housing units is to see to it that those pregnant patients who are coming from far away and most of the time ride the ambulances or get on motorbikes-it difficult get somewhere better to be. We are trying to curtail the situation and so, we will build 12 housing units which will give us about 24 rooms”.
Mr. Yeke stressed that authorities of the medical facilities will maintain and spearhead the accommodation of pregnant women at the units free of charge.
When completed, the LACE boss disclosed that the beneficiaries will occupy the units for between one to two months before or after giving birth and are released to go back to their respective homes in faraway places.
He further stressed the significant roles the Curran Lutheran and Salayea hospitals and clinic continue to play in providing healthcare delivery to citizens from nearby and other faraway places, especially during the heat of the Ebola and Coronavirus pandemics.
He pledged to make additional interventions including the supply of running water, provision of air conditioners, and others at the two medical facilities.
“We are not noted for giving cash to individuals, but we also decide to help institutions because help for the hospital is helpful for the entire Zorzor district or Lofa. We are not doing these things for the staff, but for the patients. Lofa will benefit everything that the President said he will do”.
Mr. Yeke further emphasized that the provision of five housing units for nurses and doctors assigned in the area was intended to shelter and ensure that they have somewhere to stay not too far from the medical center.
He stressed that medical workers would be more punctual, committed, efficient and effective in carrying out their assigned tasks and responsibilities when their wellbeing is dignified following the completion of the project.
“The President made a promise that he was going to build a city hall in Zorzor. And we are here to make sure that everything the President said comes to fruition. We are not just breaking ground for this project today. But in the next seven to 14 days, this project is going to start and it is going to be completed before the end of this budget year, the city hall will be constructed” Mr. Yeke stated before a jubilant crowd during the brief groundbreaking program held in Zorzor.
Michael Supu, District Health Officer of Salayea, is committed to safeguarding the housing units project for medical workers in the county.
He warned against the abuse of the units for personal benefits.
Mr Yeke further announced the provision of L$1M micro loan for women, mainly marketers in Salayea.
He said government will also work towards the relocation and subsequent construction of a new market building for the women.
At the sametime, Mr. Yeke provided over L$400,000, several bags of rice, used clothing, sporting materials, and others to women, youth, students groupings and and medical workers in Salayea, Zorzor, Fissebu and other areas in Lofa.
Solar lights were also provided to light-up several schools, villages and towns in the county.
He also inspected the newly constructed housing units in Nahn Town, Bong County. The units which comprise of two rooms each, sitting place, bathroom and back and front porches, are expected to be dedicated very shortly.
Also speaking, former Lofa County Representative and head of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) Moses Kollie expressed pride and delight over the growing wave of developments ongoing in the county.
He said the move clearly demonstrates the President’s goodwill to citizens of the county as was preached by him and others during the campaign period of the 2017 elections.
“Whenever I see these developments coming, I feel proud and I want to say thank you to the President and Mr. Yeke who has been very instrumental in making sure that the President fulfill his promises made to his people”.
Smiles and jubilations were seen on the faces of the citizens and characterized the separate groundbreaking ceremonies held in the county.
In separate remarks, the locals described President Weah as a “talk and do leader”.
They used the occasion to pledge their support for the maintenance of peace and stability in the country.
They, however, committed themselves to embracing developments, instead of giving their political franchise or votes on a “self-pay” basis.
For his part, Lofa County Superintendent William Kamba cautioned against the political stereotyping of the county.
He said citizens of the county are ready to work towards and embrace developments void of any political interference or affiliation.
He noted that citizens are resolved not to allow themselves to be used anymore by remaining loyal to those who do not mean well to them and their county.
“We want to express our thanks to the President because these are some of the requests the county has been yielding for. I know our talk and do President will always do what he says he will do and I know that our people will benefit especially in making sure that our people do not encounter medical problems while on their way coming for treatment”.
Superintendent Kamba, however, urged residents of the county to take ownership of the projects, adding that, “what the President is doing is just a gesture and this is our property and we should make sure to maintain it”.
He vowed that his office will on a weekly basis monitor all of the projects that will commence in the county very shortly to guarantee their timely execution.