Undermining Tapita Hospital (JFD) is Wicked, Callous and Inhumane
I have read with disbelief and total disgust various social media reports of the surreptitious removal and further attempt to remove even more vital medical equipment from the Jackson Fiah Doe (JFD) Referral Hospital in Tapita, Nimba County, by individuals claiming to be ordered by the Minister of Health. The equipment targeted by the current attempt is an advanced microscope used for testing specimen in the neurosurgical process. According to reports, the Minister of Health had previously ordered the un-negotiated removal a CT scanner, and other equipment without the knowledge of officials of the County Health Board and county authorities. We are aware that those are very important medical equipment in the imaging and diagnostic processes of major internal medical problems; and the JFD cannot effectively operate without them.
We believe that the act of undermining the Tapita Hospital (JFD) is wicked, callous, and inhumane and therefore unacceptable. We demand that this action stops immediately and should not be mimicked let alone repeated, as we will do everything within our power as a people to secure what is intended for the safety and medical needs of our people. We warn that any such act(s) by any individual will be deemed as an act of provocation to say the least.
Henceforth, we demand in no uncertain terms that those health authorities in Monrovia and elsewhere desist from such acts, which are inimical to the already challenged healthcare system in Nimba County. We further request that the government, if it is unaware of this action, moves swiftly to stop such unwholesome acts that will further put the lives of over a million people in Nimba County and all of the South Eastern counties, who also receive vital medical services at the JFD referral hospital, at serious risks.
According to sources on the ground in Tapita, there has been a gradual and what seems to be a secret removal of technical medical equipment by individuals from Monrovia, who claim to be acting upon the orders of the chief Medical Officer of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Hospital in Monrovia in collaboration with the Minister of health. The Minister has yet to meet with the county’s authority in the legislature and the County Health Board to discuss the details of whether it is even feasible to take away those equipment without dire medical consequences to the millions of people this hospital serves.
While we denounce the appalling lack of medical equipment, trained staff and medicines at the JFK referral Hospital, removing those already available for the people of Nimba and surrounding counties at the Tapita Hospital is not the appropriate way to meet the high demand for functioning medical equipment and supplies in the country. One of the most important functions of a sovereign government is to guarantee the basic rights of its citizens, which include the right to affordable, accessible and quality health care services, amongst other rights of citizens and residents within the country.
We are aware and troubled that since the coming to power of the George Weah led government, some of the fundamental requirements of a sovereign government seem to be woefully neglected; and the Health sector seems to be the most hit in these doldrums of neglect of national duty by sectorial functionaries of this government.
The JFK and JFD are two very critical and significant referral hospitals in the country and we understand that. As such, both need to be equipped and staffed with the best, as they are the last resort of any health problem emanating from smaller hospitals throughout the country, depending on the location of the person needing services that require specialty intervention. The way to solve the health care crisis is not to undermine one important hospital for the other.
Both institutions must be treated with equal urgencies and the government is under obligation to ensure that the needed medical supplies and equipment are always readily available for use by trained doctors for the benefits of those who are able to make it that far. It is hard times that our citizens are dying in droves for lack of affordable, easy access and quality health care services in the first place.
We repeat that the act of undermining the Tapita Hospital (JFD) is wicked, callous, and inhumane and therefore unacceptable. We demand that this action stops immediately and should not be mimicked let alone repeated, as we will do everything within our power as a people to secure what is intended for the safety and medical needs of our people. Therefore, any such act by any individual will be deemed as an act of provocation to say the least.
We call on the government to swiftly intervene and have all those equipment that were earlier removed, returned to the hospital as quickly as possible.
Former Superintendent, Nimba County