Liberia: Dr. Jerry Brown Motivates Young Liberians to take Interest in Pediatrics Training and Cleft Surgery


MONROVIA – The Chief Executive Officer of the John F. Kennedy Medical center, Dr. Jerry Brown has stressed the importance for young Liberians to engage in pediatrics training and cleft repairing for Liberians who have split on their mouth.

Report by Francis G. Boayue

Dr. Brown made the statement recently in Monrovia at the closed of a three-day training on cleft surgery hosted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Smile Train International with an aim to build the capacity of Liberians, Sierra Leoneans, and Gambian nurses on how to treat kids that suffer cleft disorders (split mouths).

He said his dream as Chief Executive Officer of JFK is to look forward to a day where Liberians will not be calling others to come to Liberia to offer cleft surgery or training in cleft repairing but for Liberians to be doing it all by themselves.

“Whether we like it or not, cleft (split mouth) babies will always be born so we must train people to replace us to continue the legacy for a better Liberia in becoming a pediatric surgeon,” Dr. Brown said.

According to him, ‘If we the older ones don’t invest in the younger ones, it will be bad for our health system so it’s about time to encourage young Liberians to come onboard and invest their time into pediatrics surgery and cleft repair’.

He lauded Smile Train International for always coming to partner with the Ministry of Health to improve cleft care in Liberia and assured using the partnership to capacitate the minds of young Liberians in that direction.

For her part, Victoria Awazie the program manager for West Africa Smile Train International said her organization is the world largest cleft children charity. With head office in New York, USA, she said it is aimed at building the capacity of health workers on how to treat children with cleft.

She added her organization in partnership with the Ministry of Health, has committed to deploying Smile-trained fellows through capacity building across Liberia and as well offers free cleft surgery service to Liberians.