Dedication and Turnover Ceremony of the Newly Renovated and Expanded Intension Care and Trauma Unit at the JFK Hospital by President George Manneh Weah
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am very pleased to be here today to participate in the dedication ceremonies of this newly-renovated and expanded Intensive Care Unit and Trauma Unit of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center.
Since the beginning of my Administration, many of you in the health care professional will be aware that I have been very concerned about the lack of properly-equipped ICU’s and Trauma Units in Liberia, and that I have been relentless in my determination to bring such modern, state-of-the-art facilities to various hospitals in Liberia.
The upgrading and expansion of these facilities at the JFK Memorial Medical Center are particularly significant because this hospital is the national referral hospital and the main teaching hospital in Liberia. Founded in 1971, it has played an unparalleled role in healthcare and in training Liberia’s health workforce for over five decades.
Yet, despite its long years of existence and the important contributions, it has made as to the main pillar of the Liberian healthcare ecosystem, JFK, as it is commonly known, has faced some difficulty over the years with meeting the full standards of care as is expected of its position as the apex teaching hospital in Liberia, due to challenges with funding and budgetary constraints.
And that is why we have led the initiative to reach out to our international partners and the private sector, to lend their support to this venerable institution, such that it will be enabled to fulfill its important role of education, training, and leadership of our health sector. To their credit, many of them have responded generously, for which we are grateful.
Today, we are here to recognize and appreciate the positive response to my appeal from two companies in the private sector: the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), and TGS-Nopec, who have combined their resources in fulfillment of their Corporate Social Responsibility, to improve, upgrade, expand, and equip these facilities.
They should, and must be, commended. NOCAL has always been a major contributor to all areas that seek to develop the lives of our people, and therefore this investment into the health sector through this JFK Project comes as no surprise. The people of Liberia are indeed grateful for this gesture.
Through this NOCAL-TGS partnership, the Facility Upgrade of the Intensive Care and Trauma Unit of JFK Hospital will bring a huge boost to our healthcare delivery drive in Liberia. This initiative will bring our people closer to the kind of health care they deserve.
I am informed that the Project was done in two phases, where Phase One included the renovation, expansion, and remodeling of the ICU & Trauma Units over a six-month period; while Phase Two included the supply of medical materials and equipment. I have now learned that there is to be a Phase Three, whereby NOCAL will sponsor ICU and Trauma personnel abroad for advanced training to enable them to operate these types of equipment effectively and efficiently.
I am further informed that this Project will provide professional life-saving health services, on an equal-access basis, to over 1.8 million inhabitants of Monrovia and its environs and residents in the 15 counties of Liberia who, based on referral and need, will require advance emergency care.
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
Once again, on behalf of the People of Liberia, and in my own name, I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to NOCAL and TGS-Nopec for their support to this specific aspect of our National economic plan, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, in which the provision of adequate health care to our people is a major component.
Let me advise and admonish the Management and Staff to take excellent care and maintenance of these facilities so that they will efficiently and effectively serve the purpose for which they were installed.
To you Attorney-At Law Saifuah Mai Gray, I am very proud of you. You have dispelled the notion that young people are not experienced and can not deliver. The NOCAL that we know; you met it bankrupt and in a huge financial deficit. You went there, Stabilize it and now you have brought this very impressive project to successful completion. I, therefore, urge all young professionals who are put in positions of responsibility, to emulate her great leadership.
There is an urgent need for Similar facilities to be provided to other hospitals throughout Liberia, and I, therefore, encourage you, Madam Gray, other companies in the private sector, and our international partners for more enabling support.
I thank you