Liberia: Citizens Resist Removal of Hospital Equipment from Tappita; Put Doctor Under House Arrest

An aerial view showing the hospital complex of the Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County

Tappita, Nimba County – Residents of Tappita, Lower Nimba County, Thursday, August 1, resisted the removal of equipment from the Jackson Faih Doe Referral Hospital.

The aggrieved Tappita inhabitants’ action was triggered by rumor that a helicopter was on its way to their city to transfer from the hospital the only “brain surgery machine.” The machine, according to reports, was to be flown to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, where it will be used to carryout some expected surgical operations.

The aggrieved citizens’ action was allegedly organized by local authorities, headed by District Superintendent Aubrey Wehyee. Wehyee allegedly ordered young people to resist the removal of the only brain surgery
machine in the country, which is stationed at the Jackson Faih Doe Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County.

The Tappita residents had divided themselves into two groups, with one heading to the landing pad of the helicopter and the other moving straight to the hospital complex to prevent the removal. The group that went to the hospital, barricaded the hospital while the other group had threatened to set the helicopter ablaze.

According to information, several foreign doctors are expected in the country to carry on brain operations at the JFK Hospital in a month, and a team had been dispatched to Jackson F. Doe in Nimba to transfer the equipment.

There are reports that the medical equipment is not for the Jackson F. Doe Hospital, but was borrowed for use. Our correspondent was prevented from entering the hospital complex by the angry residents.

The aggrieved Tappita citizens’ action Thursday brought normal activities at the hospital to a standstill; and the only brain surgeon at the hospital, Dr. Alvin Nah Doe, was placed under house arrest and cuffed by the aggrieved citizens, on grounds that he had connived with others to remove the equipment, which they think might never be brought back to the hospital if they allow it to leave from there.

The equipment requires a 24-hour electricity, which the Jackson F. Doe Hospital does not currently run at the moment.

Prior to the aggrieved citizens’ action, authorities of  the hospital had appeared on a local radio station informing citizens about the arrival of the delegation from JFK to borrow the equipment for a month after which it would be returned. Jackson F. Doe’s Administrator, Abraham Jusu didn’t pick his phone when this newspaper sought comments from him.