Still No Detailed Plan to Rebuild Healthcare Delivery System

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf delivered a wide-ranging address to the nation last Wednesday, pointing to a number of plans her government envisages toward post-Ebola recovery.  She rightly included improvement in the healthcare delivery system, as well as education, agriculture and Liberian participation in business.But she spoke in generalities and presented no specific outline of what she intends in each of these areas.The Address could be described as essentially lackluster (bland), primarily because she spoke in generalities, gave us no bold prescription of how she and her government intend to jumpstart the economy, and most especially the revitalization of the healthcare delivery system.She herself and many other partners have stressed that the Ebola epidemic was allowed to wreak its  deadly havoc and do it so rapidly because of the weak healthcare system in all three countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.This is what led the People’s Republic of China, through its Ambassador, Zhang Yue, to announce last October his government’s pledge “to work with other international partners to help [rebuild] and modernize Liberia’s health sector in the post-Ebola period.  Similar pledges followed from the Americans and the European Union.  This newspaper has been pleading with the government to seize this golden opportunity and devise a comprehensive and detailed plan for the revitalization of healthcare in Liberia.  But we have yet to see one.  The Ministry of Health (MOH) reacted verbally to our last  Monday Editorial on this subject, saying that indeed a plan had been devised.  But the plan is not that impressive.In her address, the President mentioned a ten-year program for the training of healthcare professionals, improving and expanding services at primary and secondary healthcare centers, upgrading county hospitals and establishing three regional hospitals. She further spoke of what she called “the repositioning of John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) to meet its envisioned role as a national referral center.”There were, however, no specifics.  Which healthcare professionals does she intend  to train—are they nurses, paramedics or medical doctors—or all three?  How does she intend to do that?   Both the Tubman National Institute for Medical Arts (TNIMA) and most especially the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine are crying for help.  We recently reported that the College’s students’ allowances, like the salaries of faculty and staff of the university itself, are eight months in arrears.  Does the President know this?  What plans are in the offing to fix that, then move on to the larger question of reequipping and expanding the college? George Fahnbulleh, a top commentator on the Observer web site, wrote that “with a 3% net population growth rate, Liberia will have an estimated population of 6.74 million in 2030 and will need . . .  approximately 1,752 doctors to meet [the] average.”  According to him,  we need to produce 105 new doctors every year for the next 15 years?  This, it seems to us, underscores the urgency of immediately addressing the needs of the Medical College.What intervention plans has the government for the West African Post Graduate Medical College?  The college needs its own campus, with well equipped buildings and a topnotch teaching staff to train medical specialists.  Are there any plans for that?Where exactly upcountry does the President intend to place the three referral hospitals?  And which healthcare centers are targeted for improvement and expansion?  What are JFK’s own plans for revitalization? Recent statistics show that our maternal death rate is rising.  That is a sign that infant mortality is not far behind.  Yet there is only one Liberian gynecologist at the JFK—the Chief Medical Officer himself, Dr. Billy Johnson; and only one pediatrician, Dr. Sia Camonor.  Numerous other specialists are lacking at the nation’s leading referral hospital.  What are the JFK’s own plans for training specialists or reengaging Liberian medical specialists in the Diaspora?Herein lay the urgent need to build the West African Post Graduate College of Medicine.    We pray that the President and her Health Ministry team, in collaboration with the partners, especially the Chinese, Americans and EU, will as soon as possible devise the plan, so that we may begin the urgent task of rebuilding our healthcare sector and turn Liberia into one truly healthy nation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Express are favourites to win cup – Ssemwogerere

first_imgSsemwogerere believes Express have are favourites to win Uganda Cup. (Agency Photo)Uganda Cup 2018/19Semifinals – First LegSunday, 28-04-20192019-Bright Stars Vs Express – Champions Stadium, Mwerere (4 PM)Monday, 29-04-2019-Kyetume Vs Proline – KyetumeKAMPALA – Express FC have spent what feels like an eternity since they won anything in terms of honours.The last times Wankulukuku was a home to champions was back in 2012 when Sam Simbwa, the current URA FC coach, was at the helm.Then, the Red Eagles had been crowned League champions for the 7th time in their history. However, since then, Express has just been among the participants in all the competitions they have been taking part in.Throughout the past 7 years, the Red Eagles have not come any closer to winning anything as they have been struggling at all fronts.After the appointment of Kiryowa Kiwanuka as the new chairperson at the start of the current campaign, optimism was the order of the day at Wankulukuku and 9 months down the road, Express find themselves outright favourites in the last four of the prestigious Uganda Cup.May be it would have been different if another traditional team was in the mix but the trio of SC Villa, KCCA FC and Vipers have already been eliminated, leaving only Express as the only side to have ever won it, amongst the last four.With the other three remaining sides being a mid table StarTimes Uganda Premier League team in Bright Stars and two Big League sides (Proline FC and Kyetume), Express are indeed the favoitites to win it.While speaking at the semi final press at Kati Kati Restaurant on Friday, Express head coach George Ssemwogerere emphasised that his sides are indeed favourites.“Express Football Club has an edge over other clubs in the semifinal because we are record winners, said Ssemwogerere.“We have prepared for this match very well and we are already in camp.“The positive development is that we kick off away from home and we shall finish the job at home in Wankulukuku.Express who take on Bright Stars in the first leg on Sunday, have won the cup a record 10 times. Only KCCA FC (10) can match their record.At the same press conference, Bright Stars assistant coach Paul Kiwanuka stressed that his side intend to get the job done on Sunday, before they visit Wabkulukuku for the return leg.“Our players have exhibited great commitment, noted Kiwanuka.“It is the same commitment that we shall show over the two legs.“Finishing at Wankulukuku should not be a guarantee for Express because by the time we come for the return leg, we shall have done the job.The same press conference was also graced by Proline head coach Shafik Bisaso whose side visits Kyetume FC on Monday in the other semi final.Bisaso was also at the press conference on Friday. (File Photo)Bisaso joked that since the opponents had skipped the pre-match press conference, it could be a walkover as well.Kyetume could however be forgiven for not having a representative as they had been involved in a Big League game away to Dove All Stars in Arua, the previous day.Just like in both 2016 and 2017, a Big League side will feature in the final against a top tier team.In 2016, Onduparaka who were then still in the Big League lost to Vipers SC and so did Paidha who were downed by KCCA in the final, the following year.Last year, KCCA beat Vipers 1-0 in the final but both sides are already eliminated.Express’ last triumph in the competition dates backComments Tags: fufa big leagueGeorge SsemwogerereKCCA FCKyetume FCpaul kiwanukaproline fcStarTimes Uganda Premier LeaguetopUganda Cupvipers sclast_img read more