BY: Joseph Titus Yekeryan (Correspondent)
The Armah Sekou Toure Health Center in Jorwah, Panta District continues to face challenges ringing from the shortage of drugs, bad road connectivity, electricity and network.
Our Bong County Correspondent who toured the area recently said, patients are seen in a very long queue for treatment but are not receiving drugs for their illness.
Patients are however, going back home with only prescriptions given them by medical practitioners assigned at the clinic.
Worst of all our reporter says, pregnant women seeking medication at the center are usually asked by health workers to provide needed materials like gloves, alcohol, and pills before they can be treated mainly during delivery.
Some of the pregnant women who are unable to provide sanitary or other materials are constrained to give birth at their home.
Voicing out anger on Wednesday June 17, 2020, The General Town Chief of Melequai Naomi Kanakai said, the health condition is becoming unbearable for her people .
She said their lives are being risked because of the lack of drugs at the only health facility in the area.
The only alternative for the sick in their area according to Mrs. Kanakai is for her people mostly poor farmers to collecting herbs and treat themselves.
“But why will we go to the hospital? every time when you go to the hospital, Nurses will tell you no drugs and all they able to do is to write the name of the medicines on paper. Even when the names of the medicines are written on the paper, how do we get them? Absolutely there is no drug store here so for me, I think my family and I will keep drinking roots.” She added.
As for 24 years old Keremah Togbah who is 8-months pregnant said, she worries everyday about her condition give a successful birth at the clinic as there is still no sign of improvement at the health facility.
“I am eight months pregnant and up to now we have not heard that drugs are available, so the only thing I will do is to start preparing to go Gbarnga city, maybe when I get there at any public hospital people will see the need and help me but not to stay here in the bush and die.” she said.
According to her, since she became pregnant, she had gone to the Armah Sekou Toure Health Center twice but there has not been a single tablet given to her as Nurses will always give her prescriptions.
A Nurse at the Facility who did not want to be named, confirmed to our correspondent that the health facility lacks several things and not only drugs.
“It is true that drugs are the main thing but to be fair with you, not only drugs we lacking right now, we don’t have network for communication; so before we get the ambulance driver to respond to emergency case, we have to walk almost a mile to an area that has network before calling ambulance.” the insider said.
She described the light at the facility as “Christmas light” adding that the solar panel installed at the health facility is faulty and do sometimes have technical problem causing no light at the center for days or hours.
As for the generator at the hospital, the health worker said the issue of gas do prevent them from getting it on to supply electricity thus making them to use Chinese lights.
The health worker also confirmed that prescriptions are given to patients but at a time when a patience need a particular drug that is not available at the health center.
As a lone health center in the region, the health facility caters to more than two hundred and fifty patients on a daily basis, approximately thirty percent of whom are from neighboring Guinea.
The Guinean government our reporter was informed given little support to then President William R. Tolbert Jr. during the construction of the facility in the late 1970s for some of their citizens who are living along the border to seek medication upon its completion.
Due to the bilateral ties between the two governments at the time, the Health Center was named after former Guinean President Sekou Armah Toure.
The Health center was looted and set ablaze during the 1990s civil war in Liberia but was later renovated by the office of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor then Senator of Bong County.
Since the renovation and dedication of the building in in October, 2018, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and international Partners provided all appliances to the center including drugs for four months operations and a 1.5 KVA generator.
However, the health center continues to find it difficult in providing normal health services to residents in that region.