Health

City Life Water challenges closure

City Life Mineral Water Incorporated, a local business in Caldwell Township, Montserrado County protests here that it was wrongfully shut down by the Liberian government.


The government recently shut down about a dozen local water producing companies for operating in unhygienic environments, among other poor services that endanger public health and safety.

But the management of City Life argues that government had earlier certificated the company after it met all requirements prescribed by the Ministry of Health and the standard division of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, respectively.

It says to its dismay, City Life was listed among companies that failed to meet standard requirements for producing sachet water, thereby, immediately closing the entire operations of the company.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, 23 July in the township, the General Manger of City Life, Mr. Ahaji Omaru Sheriff, explains that the company is 100 percent Liberian-owned and mindful of the health and safety of the general public.

“We have consistently seen to it that our company complies individually with all of the various regulatory agencies overseeing the sachet water industry; These include the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the National Standard Laboratory and Environmental Protection Agency’’, he explains.

Mr. Sheriff notes that in all of their interactions with the authorities, including assessment and testing these entities have carried out, his company has come out successfully in compliance with all of the preconditions, qualification and bench marks required prior to being allowed to continue production, adding that even “employees had to produce their health clearances before gaining employment with our company.”

He continues that it has come to the attention of the Management of City Life Mineral Water Incorporated that a smear campaign hatched by some detractors in the water industry and unsuspectingly being supported by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) has been making the rounds since 17 July 2017.

He calls on his customers and the general public not to give any credence to radio announcement and print publication bearing the entity’s name as being among sachet Water Companies found not in compliance with the law or producing unfit water for public consumption.

By Bridgett Milton-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Ellen warns JFK nurses

President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf has warned nurses at the government John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center referral hospital that the health of the people is in their hands, and if they do not respond to patients that turn out to seek medical attention, they have put lives at stake.


“I wish some of the nurses from JFK were here, not just the eye clinic; but the other nurses to say to them the health of our people are not only in the hands of these who are trained, not only the doctors. It’s in your hands. When somebody comes to the hospital and you do not respond to them, you have put a life at stake”, Mrs. Sirleaf warned Monday, 24 July.

While inaugurating a major Indian - built Liberian Eye Care Center on Monday in Monrovia which places Liberia at first among West African countries to conduct cornea transplant, Mrs. Sirleaf says dream comes true if you work at it.

She recalls that it has been a long road to where “we are today”, and expresses surprise at the facility particularly over the very sophisticated equipment that she says have been put there.
“We can have the best facilities, we can have the best equipment, we can have the best mobility with vehicles to bring people and the willingness of people to want to go and take the care that is available for them, but if you the nurses, the doctors, the administrators do not put your heart and your passion and your work into it, then all of this does not amount to much,” Mrs. Sirleaf says.

She thanks the Indian partners and others for their contributions in making the dream come true, and also recognizes the quiet efforts and contribution of the Lions Club towards the eye center project.

President Sirleaf says there is a commitment that if “we” continue to work together with the support of those that have pledged to support the center like the Lions Club and others, training could be started for community health workers.

She anticipates that when trained, the community health workers could go into the schools and designated places and determine that there’s something wrong with a child’s eye and then sent them to a place where they can get relieve.

She describes the Eye Center as something good for Liberia and pledges government’s commitment to ensuring that the objectives that have been formulated and the dream that is partially fulfilled by the inauguration of the project will be met.

Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn recalls that President Sirleaf, during her visit to India in 2013, made the initial contact with the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute of India to come and help establish a world class eye care center in Liberia.

Dr. Dahn says President Sirleaf asked the Indian counterparts to work with other partners on the grounds here to develop an eye care plan, an invitation she says they honored and came here in 2014.

“And since then we have been working together to see what is here today”, she says, adding that it has been a partnership between the Governments of Liberia and India, represented by the JFK Medical Center and the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute of India, the implementing partner.

She concludes that the Liberian Government provided above US$300,000 to renovate the site based on standards provided by the L.V. Prasad, supported travels and accommodation and paid Indian doctors who have started working here to provide services over the past nine months.

JFK Chief Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wvannie Scott - McDonald notes that the Eye Center project is one of the many projects that will be seen working, and expresses happiness for bringing the center back to where it was.

She thanks President Sirleaf for being the key person behind the project, adding that it represents her dream, her hope for Liberia and the fact that the JFK should be moved forward so that Liberians do not have to travel abroad for health care.

By Winston W. Parley

EPA trains refrigeration technicians

In a bid to protect the Ozone Layer from depletion, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a three-day training forum for refrigeration and air-conditioned technicians in the country.


EPA is the principle authority for implementing the national environmental policy and sustainable management law for the protection of natural resources in Liberia.Speaking to reporters at the start of the training last Thursday, 13 July the Focal Point for Montreal Protocol on Substances depleting the Ozone Layer, Mr. Sete F. Marshall, says the exercise is in fulfillment of the EPA’s duty of protecting the environment for the betterment of all.

According to him, the training brings together refrigeration technicians under the banners of National Refrigeration Union of Liberia.“We are only performing our duty. We have the mandate, under the law to ensure that those substances that deplete the Ozone Layer are completely done away with,” notes Mr. Marshall.

“This is bringing together people who are involved in the refrigeration and air-conditioned industry. I am talking about those technicians in the area. The aim is to train them so that they can be abreast with the new changes that have taken place in the sector. There are changes and technicians are to be abreast with those changes that continue to take place,” he states.

“Some of those chemicals that they once used are now hazardous and they need to know much of these kinds of chemicals and their management. For instance hydrocarbon is a new type of chemical that does not pollute our environment and they need to know about this kind of new chemical,” the EPA official explained.

Mr. Sete stresses that acquisition of such knowledge will not only save Liberia, but the rest of the world from danger.

Lead Trainer, and Head of the Electrical Department at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center or M.V.T.C. Mr. Sackie Y. Paye, welcomes the training by the EPA and indicates that it was necessary for students who are involved in refrigeration repairs.

The training is about how to handle hydro carbon, and their usages, including the working of the substance. The lead trainer says the hydro carbon being in existence but due to the danger it has, people abandoned it and instead use oxygen.

“EPA has embarked on this training because of the new refrigens that are coming are hazardous and flammable and in order to get rid of that you must have trained technician that will adequately handle the matter.”

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

30 midwives receive Master Mentors training

The Liberia Prevention of Maternal Mortality (LPMM) in collaboration with the Liberia Midwifery Association (LMA) has completed a Master Mentor Training Programme for 30 midwives in Monrovia.


According to a press release, the training programme supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with funding from Johnson and Johnson and the World Bank is intended to create a pool of competent senior midwives as mentors, who will in turn provide on the spot coaching for junior midwives in practice to improve quality of care for women and adolescents during pregnancy, labor, childbirth and post-delivery and their newborns.

LPMM Programme Manager, Mrs. Anna K. Gbe, says the training workshop helped to sharpen the skills of the “Master Mentors” who will be used as trainers of key health staff at the county level. Those trained personnel at the county level will in turn train skilled birth attendants at health facilities as peer practice mentors to enhance continual education, skill building and competency to ensure delivery of quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCAH) services for women and adolescent mothers.

Mrs. Gbe explains that only midwives in leadership and who are currently practicing, well versed with national and international updates guidelines with commitment and willingness to travel in difficult conditions among others criteria were selected as national level masters mentors.

Meanwhile, the Director of Family Health Division at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Kerkula, is urging midwives across Liberia to remain committed to their tasks if the country must make progress in the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths.

Dr. Kerkula stresses that midwives have critical roles in stopping women from dying in childbirth as well as helping their newborns to survive. “Use friendly approaches to get pregnant women to deliver at the health facility. Our maternal death which is at 1072 per 100,000 live births is too high. Take a moment to find out why with all the free healthcare services in Liberia, mothers are still not coming to the facility to give birth”, he rhetorically asks at the opening of the workshop in Monrovia recently.

According to UNFPA, there are far too many women who lack access to these services. As a result, each year more than 300,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, some 3 million babies do not survive the first month of life, and another two and a half million babies are stillborn. Most of them could have been saved by the care of well-trained midwives within the framework of strong health systems.

It maintains that preventing maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities and empowering women to make informed, healthy choices and exercise their rights is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

“To make this happen, we need to expand midwifery programmes, maintaining the highest global standards, and promote an enabling environment for midwives to effectively serve the needs of women and their families;” UNFPA says.

EPA trains refrigeration technicians

In a bid to protect the Ozone Layer from depletion, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a three-day training forum for refrigeration and air-conditioned technicians in the country.


EPA is the principle authority for implementing the national environmental policy and sustainable management law for the protection of natural resources in Liberia. Speaking to reporters at the start of the training last Thursday, 13 July the Focal Point for Montreal Protocol on Substances depleting the Ozone Layer, Mr. Sete F. Marshall, says the exercise is in fulfillment of the EPA’s duty of protecting the environment for the betterment of all.

According to him, the training brings together refrigeration technicians under the banners of National Refrigeration Union of Liberia. “We are only performing our duty. We have the mandate, under the law to ensure that those substances that deplete the Ozone Layer are completely done away with,” notes Mr. Marshall.

“This is bringing together people who are involved in the refrigeration and air-conditioned industry. I am talking about those technicians in the area. The aim is to train them so that they can be abreast with the new changes that have taken place in the sector. There are changes and technicians are to be abreast with those changes that continue to take place,” he states.

“Some of those chemicals that they once used are now hazardous and they need to know much of these kinds of chemicals and their management. For instance hydrocarbon is a new type of chemical that does not pollute our environment and they need to know about this kind of new chemical,” the EPA official explained.

Mr. Sete stresses that acquisition of such knowledge will not only save Liberia, but the rest of the world from danger. Lead Trainer, and Head of the Electrical Department at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center or M.V.T.C. Mr. Sackie Y. Paye, welcomes the training by the EPA and indicates that it was necessary for students who are involved in refrigeration repairs.

The training is about how to handle hydro carbon, and their usages, including the working of the substance. The lead trainer says the hydro carbon bein in existence but due to the danger it has, people had to abandoned it and use oxygen.

“EPA has embarked on this training because of the new refrigens that are coming are hazardous and flammable and in order to get rid of that you must have trained technician that will adequately handle the matter.”

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Nurses attend WACN’s biennial meeting

The Liberian Chapter of the West African College of Nursing (WACN) has joined its counterparts in the region for the organization’s 14th Biennial General Meeting.


WACN began its weeklong activities on Tuesday, July 4, which are being held at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria. The West African College of Nursing is a specialized agency of the West African Health Organization (WAHO). Liberia had hosted the event on four different occasions beginning in 1982, and subsequently 1987, 2001 and 2013, respectively.

A press release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, says the Liberian Chapter, comprising over 20 professional nurses otherwise called Fellows, is being led by its head, Mr. Joseph Gono and Mrs. Elizabeth Sele-Mulbah, a former President, Council Member and Presenter of WACN.  This year’s theme is “Emerging Health Emergencies: Community and Health Workforce Responsibilities in the Sub-Region”. The biennial event is also the 23rd Scientific Session and 37th Council Meeting of the WACN.

The release details that Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh and other high-profile Nigerian dignitaries, including the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac FolorunsoAdewole, attended Tuesday’s formal opening session.

Mr. Victor D. Zoclanclounon, President of WACN, in his address, said this year’s theme is adequately expressive as “we know the vulnerability of the majority of the population we are taking care of is Nursing and Obstetrics health care.”

He says this is achieved with professionalism and collaboration by counting on the know-how and well-being of technicians of the two Siamese professions -nurses and mid-wives.

Meanwhile, during the opening ceremony, several personalities were conferred honorary fellowship awards, including the Nigerian Minister of Health, Professor Isaac FolorunsoAdewole, Senator Radiu Musa Kwankwaso, Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs, and Mrs. ToyinSaraki, wife of the Nigerian Senate President, among others.

Since its inauguration in 1981, member countries have been hosting what was first referred to as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in rotation. The first of it after inauguration was held in Liberia. But due to obvious undue financial burden on fellows and sponsors, it was decided in 1989 during the Freetown event for it to be held biennially.

The late Mrs. Rachael Marshall, Mrs. Elizabeth Sele-Mulbah and Mrs. Dedeh F. Jones are three Liberians who have served as presidents of WACN. Also, three other Liberians have served as Secretary-Generals. They are the late Mrs. Ellen George Williams, Mrs. C. LawuoGwesa and Shirley Adia Wright.

Conflict, Ebola intensify Mental Disorder in Liberia

The Vice President and Chairman of the Liberia Chapter of the West African College of Physicians, Dr. Rose Jallah Macualey, says mental disorder is a global problem, particularly in Liberia, where the situation has been exacerbated by prolonged armed conflict and the Ebola epidemic.


Speaking on Friday, 23 June at the first Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) and the 10th Edition of the Dr. Joseph Nagbe Togbah Memorial Lecture Series of the home chapter under the Theme, “Mental Health - An unrecognized Emergency in Liberia”, Dr. Macualey notes that mental health has become an emergency because it has been neglected over the years.

According to her, the AGSM provides an opportunity to highlight the problem and elevate advocacy so that government and development partners would treat mental disorders here as an emergency by prioritizing it in their policies, programs and budgets.

She recalls that the West African College of Physicians was formally inaugurated in Lagos, Nigeria, on October 23, 1973 with Liberia as a founding member, adding that unfortunately, the Liberian Chapter has remained a small chapter in terms of number of fellows.

Dr. Macualey however points out that though Liberia is a small chapter, fellows and members here continue to work hard to perform as well or even better than some of the bigger chapters, noting “Our chapter hosted a very successful 40th AGSM of the College in Liberia last November.”

“Our colleagues from other countries tell us that each time Liberia hosts the AGSM, we raise the bar, the Liberia Chapter is grateful to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health for the support we continue to receive”, she expresses.

She explains that the Dr. Joseph Nagbe Togbah Memorial Lecture Series has be held by the Liberia Chapter of the West African College of Physicians for nine consecutive years in recognition of his numerous contributions to medical education in Liberia.

Speaking also, an official of the West African Postgraduate College Pharmacies Dr. Hasipha C. Tarpeh, lauds the West African College of Physicians for highlighting the plight of people with mental disorder.

He notes that mental health the world over is a challenge and needs serious attention, noting that Liberia as a country walking out of the ashes of the Ebola epidemic with the task to building a resilient health system is no exception to the world’s challenge.

Dr. Tarpeh furthered that research has proven that mental health is a serious concern in Liberia as evidenced by the increased number of cases, needless to overemphasize the emergency nature of current situation.“The fight against this emergency requires joint effort with the support of the potential partners and well-wishers alike”, he concludes.

-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Health Workers Demand Risk benefits

Members of the National Health workers Association of Liberia have urged the Government of Liberia and partners in the fight against Ebola to settle the risk benefits of health workers across the country.

They also stressed the urgent need for response benefits for their work during the heat of the Ebola crisis, indicating that the government must also ensure that the fifty five dollars being deducted from their salaries be repaid.

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Mother of triplet appeals for help

A 27-year-old mother of triplet in Grand Kru County is calling on national government and humanitarian organizations for assistance for the survival of her kids.


Speaking to the NewDawn on Wednesday, May 10th, in Sasstown, Grand Kru County, Madam Cecelia Weufree, who gave birth to a triplet in November, 2016, is appealing for financial assistance, lamenting that her current economic status cannot enable her to care for the babies and they risk dying.

The subsistence farmer gave birth to three girls the Dr. Doemu Nimely Memorial Hospital in Sasstown, Jroa Statutory District. She has been struggling with the infants from the day of their birth.

The mother of the six months old triplets says she is finding it difficult these days despite all efforts by her and her poor husband to provide their kids. “We hardly find food to eat and I am breastfeeding three kids, which is very dangerous to my health and the kids too, so I am calling on people to please help me”, she pleads.

Appearing very hungry and exhausted, she says initially after giving birth to the triplet, some residents came to her aid, but presently no one wants to see her or even help in catering to the kids.

“I am just praying for God to send someone to come to my aid to save the lives of these kids because I do not know whether they will become President, Minister, or hold other positions in government that will serve Liberia, so I am praying for God to save their lives.

By George K. Momo/ Maryland-”Editing by Jonathan Browne

US$6m for Health Sector

The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health, has disclosed that Six Million United States Dollars will be used to restore Public health facilities across the country. Some will also go to private health facilities.

Deputy Health Minister Saye D. Baawo said following the restoration basis health services at all public hospitals,

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