Electrocuted AFL Soldier Departs Liberia For Advance Medical Treatment
MONROVIA — At long last, the ailing Sergeant of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), who was electrocuted while on duty, George Kaifa, has been flown out of the country for advance medical treatment.
It can be recalled that on October 19, 2020, Sergeant Kaifa was electrocuted when a gun he was carrying mistakenly “hooked” a high tension wire of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), while leaving a tower to pick up his ration (food) from the kitchen during the night hours.
He lost one of his breasts, thumbs, and the scars on his body remain uncountable as a result of numerous surgeries conducted by doctors assigned at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center- where he was admitted following the tragic incident.
In early October, 2020, Sgt. Kaifa threatened to commit suicide due to the government’s delay to send him out of the country for advance medical treatment.
But the government, through the Ministry of National Defense, particularly the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), has finally succumbed to pressure from the Liberian media and the public for the ailing AFL soldier to be treated abroad.
Citizens contended that Sgt. Kaifa was electrocuted while on duty, and as such, he must be treated like a “first class citizen” and accorded all of the necessary support government normally gives to other public officials whenever they fell ill.
Sgt. Kaifa departed Liberia on Air Maroc on Monday for advance “reconstructive surgery” in Monrovia. He is expected to spend six months or more, depending on his response to treatment.
The surgery was reportedly recommended by a visiting Surgeon from the United States sometimes ago.
While in that part of Africa, the government of Liberia will shouldered the full cost of the medical treatment, accommodation and others of Sgt. Kaifa.
There have been some sticky issues between the family of Sgt. Kaifa and the Liberian government over adequate treatment for their relative and the selection of a country best suited for the advance medical treatment.
At one point, the Commanding Officer of the AFL Health Services, Joseph Kowo, accused Sgt. Kaifa of having a “mindset” to only travel to the United States for his reconstructive surgery on grounds that he has a relative residing in that area.
“Kaifa and his whole family came to the EBK Barracks and they met with the surgeon who is a collaborator to the military. His hands are deformed and scars are on his skin and his situation is not something that is life threatening. The surgeon said he needs multiple surgeries at stages, but he refused because he already has a mindset to leave the country. The surgeon came with all the dressing materials to do the work. The surgeon requested for one of his fingers to be cut because it is stopping the other fingers from moving; but he refused again”.
The government complained of the lack of funding to ensure that Sgt. Kaifa receive adequate treatment in the US.
The government, through the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major General Prince Y. Johnson at the time claimed that the cost for a “reconstructive surgery” remains costly as compare to other countries around Africa.
Commanding Officer early told Frontpage Africa that photos of the deformity and scars on the body of Sgt. Kaifa were sent to hospitals in Ghana and India.
But it remains unclear why the ailing AFL was sent to Morocco for the treatment.
Speaking in a brief interview with FrontPageAfrica via telephone from Morocco, Sgt. Kaifa expressed gratitude to the Commander-In-Chief of the AFL, President George Manneh Weah, Major General Johnson and authorities at the Ministry of National Defense for ensuring his treatment outside of the country.
He noted that though it took some time, he remains grateful to the Liberian media, particularly Frontpage Africa for consistently flagging his situation for the public and the world at large to know about the excruciating pains he was experiencing as a result of the unfortunate incident.
He encouraged his relatives, including his children to “keep faith in the Lord” as he remains optimistic of returning to Liberia better than before.
“I just want to tell the Liberian government thank you especially the Commander-In-Chief President George Manneh Weah, and most especially my Chief of Staff for my travel to Morocco for treatment. I want to also say thank you very much to Frontpage Africa for standing in the gap for me to seek better medical treatment. Since I came I have not gone to the hospital. I have been at my lodging area. I will be meeting with the doctor tomorrow”.
“I want my family back home to continue to pray for me, and I should not come back home the same, or come back to be sleeping again”.
Sgt. George got electrocuted at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) Barracks in Monrovia while on duty during the fateful night of October 19, 2020.
He was attempting to pick up his food while on duty at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) Barracks in Monrovia which the tragedy occurred.
As a result of the severity of the burns sustained from the electric shock, Sgt. Kaifa was rushed to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor, where he stayed for a little over four months seeking medical treatment.
Despite minor surgeries and home treatment, not much improvement has been made as his hands remain almost useless due to the severity of the burns sustained, and the scars remain countless on his body.