Liberia is one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 177 out of 188 in the UN development index.
Yes, between 1989–2003 the country was ravaged by civil war, which left 250,000 dead, and in 2013 a devastating Ebola outbreak decimated its already fragile healthcare system.
Liberia’s Healthcare system depends heavily on international donor support. Many healthcare facilities are run by the government, donors or through NGOs. But there is minimized private sector involvement in the health sector.
Liberia has heavily relied on the international community for health, education, infrastructure and aid but the country needs to have its own strong Healthcare system like many other African countries so that she can be proud as well.
Unfortunately, challenges facing the healthcare delivery system in Liberia is that it is chronically short of human resources, equipment, drugs, poor infrastructure, lack of inadequate funding for basic services. These are essential health and educational programmes that can change the situation of the country.
So many doctors, nurses and many others within the health sector have lost their lives, either to the civil war or Ebola while others have been taken out of the country through the Brain-Drain system. It is about time for Liberia to educate new doctors and nurses to replace those who who have gone beyond or have been invited to the United States, Europe and other parts of the world for a better-paid cheque. Liberia can also do it and many will be running back to the country.
Liberia Dujar Association would like to play its part in the health sector by opening a Midwifery Center but the process to do this is very long. The country needs more training centres in this sector.
But because of the too long waiting, lack of hospitals and clinics, this has contributed to every sick person who has money to fly out of Liberia to Ghana, South Africa, Europé or the United States for treatment instead of having our own well-equipped hospitals. What is being forgotten is that Liberia is enriching these countries and continues to keep them on the world map. What is needed is integrating our health system with other development sectors.
Liberia should focus on building strong health systems and institutions. This is what Liberia Dujar Association is striving to achieve for too long.
By Lois Hemgren
Top photo by: Per Hemgren