Liberia Medical and Dental Council Gets New Chairperson
The Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) was established in 2010 by an act of the National Legislature to be autonomous with exclusive powers and authority to regulate and monitor medical practice within the Republic of Liberia. Dr. Benetta Collins Andrews was recently nominated as the Physicians/Surgeons Representative to LMDC and subsequently elected as the Chairperson during the first council sitting, replacing Dr. Linda Araminta Birch.
Dr. Benetta Collins Andrews is a Specialist Pediatrician currently serving as the Assistant Secretary General of the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS), the Government of Liberia’s flagship program for postgraduate medical education where specialized Doctors are trained locally. In concert with the Ministry of Health, those Doctors are thereafter deployed to hospitals around the country in order to provide advanced medical care that would otherwise be sought outside the country at the peril of the economically challenged citizens.
Narrowing disparities in health care delivery and developing a vibrant human resource base for health are top priorities of her vision for medical practice in Liberia. Dr. Andrews has particular interest in the field of infectious disease, a passion which prompted her to voluntarily join the fight against the 2014 West Africa EBOLA virus outbreak and the recent Corona virus pandemic serving as WHO Technical Assistant and Case Management Physician respectively. She is actively involved with clinical research. Dr. Andrews served as Site Pediatrician for the PREVAC EBOLA Vaccine Study. She was also the Clinical Investigator for the first malaria drug efficacy study in Liberia, using two artemisinin-based combination therapies. Dr. Andrews has served as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator in several clinical studies, some of which have produced acceptable abstracts for presentation at world class infectious disease conferences like that of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She is a lead author of a SAGE Journal research article entitled “Presentation and Treatment Outcomes of Liberian Children Age 5 Years and Under Diagnosed with Severe Malaria” in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Andrews concomitantly serves as a part-time lecturer of clinical pediatrics at the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia.
Dr. Andrews, a product of the Firestone Plantation School System, is a graduate of the Konola Academy Seventh Day Adventist Mission High School. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology, minoring Chemistry and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the T. J. R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology and the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine respectively. Some of her major scholastic achievements at the medical school include awards for the Highest Cumulative Average in her final year class and Overall Best Performances in Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacology and Psychiatry. Dr. Andrews is also an alumnus of the prestigious US State Department sponsored Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program that afforded her an opportunity for postgraduate studies in Global health with emphasis in HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, a member of the West African College of Physicians and also a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. Andrews has had many professional development opportunities locally and internationally including certificates in supervision from the American Management Association, USA, in malaria control from the Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Wuxi, People’s Republic of China and postgraduate nutrition, a collaboration between Nestle Nutrition and the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Andrews also holds certificates in Faculty Development and Mentorship through a collaborative program between the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences and the Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) and 2nd Vice Chair of the Liberia Coordinating Mechanism, the Global fund supervisory team for Liberia.