Liberia: Lebanese Community Gives Government 53-Bed Modern Clinic to Boost COVID-19 Fight
Monrovia – As part of efforts to strengthen the fight against the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the World Lebanese Cultural Union in Liberia on May 5 turned over a newly renovated building to the Ministry of Health to be used as a health facility.
Report by J. H. Webster Clayeh, [email protected]
The modern building is expected to be used as a quarantine and testing center in the country as Liberia continues its fight against COVID-19.
The building is situated along the Atlantic Ocean side of the Sophie Road in Congo Town, Monrovia.
The turning over ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, Minister of State for Presidential Affair Nathaniel McGill, Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, and Liberia’s lead coronavirus responder Dr. Jerry Brown and a host other government officials.
Speaking at the event, the president of the World Lebanese Culture Union in Liberia Ahmed S. Wazni said after the Union observed the outpour of reported cases in the country, its leadership collaborated with the Lebanese Embassy in Monrovia to develope a COVID-19 Response Plan.
The plan includes three critical projects that was submitted to the Lebanese community for approval and support.
Wazni, who is also the chairperson on the Lebanese community on the COVID-19 Response, added that the project was scrutinized and endorsed and it’s fully funded by members of the Lebanese community in the country.
“The Union Clinic, which we have all gathered here today to see its opening and turnover to the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and NPHIL, is the most important project of our COVID-19 Response Plan,” he said.
“Within three weeks, following the approval of the plan by the community, and considering the urgent need for test or quarantine facilities, we were able to renovate, furnished and equipped this facility at a cost of more than US$350,000.00.”
After the pandemic, the clinic will be turned into a state of the art clinic, said the president of the World Lebanese Culture Union.
Other initiatives being undertaken as part of the Union’s COVID-19 respeonse includes the distribution of food, cleaning materials, water supplies to the Liberia National Red Cross Society, orphanages and various communities within Montserrado County.
The Labanese community’s response also include distribution of medical supplies, equipment and building materials to the 14 Military Hospital as well as restoring the oxygen plant at JFK Hospital.
“We must extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the government in particular to President George Weah for timely endorsing our idea and approving the clinic project and for allowing us to partner with the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wanzi said.
Also speaking, Lebanese Ambassador Mr. Henri Kastoun noted that the gesture is “a great achievement” for the community efforts toward the fight against the pandemic.
“In a hard time you know your real friends; the Lebanese community has proven that they are sons and daughters of Liberia,” Ambassador Kastoun said.
Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gbehzohngar Milton Findley praised the Lebanese community for their “enormous contribution” to Liberia especially during crisis.
He also applauded health workers for standing up to ensure that the virus is eradicated from the country.
“What you have done here today is a clear manifestation that Liberia has good friends,” added Nathaniel McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.
“The President is very grateful. This is the kind of demonstration we expect Liberians to do.”
He said although Lebanese living in Liberia are not citizens, they are taking on initiatives while other Liberians are sitting doing nothing.
World Lebanese Cultural Union is an international, secular, non-denominational, non-profit organization sponsored by the Government of Lebanon but working independently in cooperation with Lebanese emigrants abroad, representing the Lebanese Diaspora across the world.