Liberia: Pres. Weah Dedicates Dialysis Center at JFK Hospital in Honor of Ex-Pres. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
MONROVIA – President George Weah Tuesday officially opened Liberia’s first Dialysis Center which named in honor of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The Liberian leader said the event marks an important milestone in the effort of providing a comprehensive and modern health facilities for Liberians.
The facility consists of ten beds, which President Weah termed as a good beginning, even though he said it is insufficient to address the needs of the entire country.
He said the lack of a Dialysis Center in the country had been too costly for citizens who had to seek treatment outside Liberia, noting that it had been a challenge to healthcare delivery in the country.
However, he maintained that for the first time in the history of the 175-year-old country, Liberians will now get affordable dialysis treatment.
Lauding partners for ensuring that the dialysis center came to effect, President Weah said that having a center of such was always a priority for his administration since 2011.
” I was briefed by the then newly-appointed Minister of Health that there was an urgent need for dialysis facilities in Liberia, and that there was a project that had been in the pipeline since 2011 under the previous administration for the establishment of a National Dialysis Center, but it had not yet been completed,” President Weah said.
“I then instructed the minister to exert every effort to bring the project to fruition and gave her my every encouragement and support.”
The project was initiated President Weah’s predecessor, Johnson-Sirleaf, for which President Weah has named the facilitate in her honor – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Dialysis Center.
“Since this is the first Dialysis Center in Liberia and Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was the first female elected president in Liberia and Africa, it is with great pleasure that I officially declare this National Dialysis Center the E.J.S. DIALYSIS CENTER in honor of former President Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.”
For her part, Health Minister Dr. Jallah, who commended partners for their support to the project, said it was saddening for every 10 people suffering from illness due to lack of dialysis center, eight will die.
“I am excited today that many Liberians who are dealing with kidney disease will have the opportunity to seek treatment in their own country,” Dr. Jallah said.
She said the opening of the center is a big gain because the burden of getting a dialysis treatment is expensive.
Dr. Jallah further added that Liberians must now celebrate the operation of the center because citizens will not leave the country now, but rather take treatment in their homeland.
At the same time, the Chief Medical Officer of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Dr. Jerry Brown, said having a dialysis unit had been a long time dream, especially under the leadership of President Weah.
This dream, according to him, also extends to improving infrastructure development, building human capacities, and bringing in equipment to increase dialysis capacities.
Dr. Brown similarly expressed regrets over the negative effects the lack of dialysis had caused to the Liberian medical sector.
“We lost so many people due to the lack of having dialysis. Even if you were to leave Liberia for a treatment, many can’t afford the burden of paying the cost for treatment,” Dr. Brown asserted.
This, he noted, had resulted in low chances of survival for those who needed dialysis treatment and with the existence of the new center, many lives would be saved.
Dr. Brown further emphasized the importance of a sustainable power source for the center, through the provision of solar electricity.