Liberia: Refuge Place International’s Administrators Refute Clinics Being Used as Precautionary Observation Center for Covid-19

The Refuge Place International Clinic in Low Cost Village, Montserrado County

Monrovia – Refuge Place International (RPI) Clinics’ administrators have disproved reports that its health facilities are being used for precautionary observation center for suspected Covid-19 victims. They also denied allegations that they are part of the Monrovia City Corporation’s Covid-19 “Active Case Finders”.

By Jaheim T Tumu- [email protected]

RPI, a non- governmental organization, was founded by the Director-General for the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Dr. Mosoka Fallah. It was alleged that Dr. Fallah was diverting funds intended for the fight against the virus to his private clinics in Bentol (Bensonville) and Chicken Soup Factory Gulf-Johnsonville.

But the clinics’ administrators in Bensonville and Chicken Soup Factory denied the allegations following a tour of the premises of the clinics by journalists.

Mr. John Lamin, chief administrator for three of the clinics in Arthington, Low Cost Village and Nyema Town, Lower Montserrado County, told reporters that the only operating clinic in Low Cost Village is catering to curable illnesses and does not have an isolation center for Covid-19 patients.

Lamin, who stated that there has been none of clinics under his supervision has dispatched men to be part of ‘active case finders,’ also said that they are in need of medical supplies, including drugs and PPEs.

“Here is the clinic, we only take care of patients who have minor sicknesses that are curable,” Mr. Lamin said.

Adding, “There is no isolation center for coronavirus patients and active case finders here. We are currently lacking medical supplies and PPEs to protect our nurses because they are the first respondents for people who are sick.”

Mrs. Juana Dukuly on the Obstetric Ward (OB) at RPI’s Low Cost Village clinic said patients paid a minimum amount of L$200 (US$1) for services.

Mrs. Dukuly further explained that patients with extreme cases are referred to the Bensonville Hospital for treatment because the clinic does take patients on bed.

Madam Youngor Sackie, chairlady of Nyema Town, which clinic is under construction, applauded Dr. Fallah’s RPI for constructing a clinic in their village.

Madam Sackie told this newspaper that sick people and pregnant women sometimes walk miles or have to be taken by hammocks for treatment and deliveries. She is hopeful that trekking the long distance to the nearest clinic will soon come to an as the 32 towns in the area have joined RPI to speedily do the construction works.

“Our pregnant women will no longer have to worry about being carried in hammocks or on motorcycles for their deliveries because our people have volunteered to make blocks and use local building materials. Dr. Fallah and RPI have promised to provide the zinc and other building materials that we don’t have here,” Madam Sackie said.

Health workers at the RPI clinic in Chicken Soup Factory Gulf-Johnsonville disclosed that patient attendance has dropped after it was erroneously reported that the facility had treated a coronavirus patient.

The cashier, Madam Cecelia Howard, encouraged the public to continue to visit the clinic for their normal health care services.

She, too, told the touring journalists that the clinic is out of medical supplies and has not received any supplies from the government neither from Dr. Fallah since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The public was misinformed that someone tested positive with Coronavirus at our clinic. That was not the case. Everyone knows that there has been no confirmed Covid-19 case here. “See our store room, supplies have almost finished. Dr. Mosoka Fallah has told us to manage, so we are using the old PPEs that we got during the Ebola time and as institution managing with the little we received from our patients and continue provide healthcare services,” Howard, said.