What Does the Thomas Eric Duncan Scholarship Mean for Liberia?

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Scholarships are set up for many reasons, like to honor a loved one or to benefit a specific set of people. Whatever the reason, scholarships are meant to brighten the future of those who are awarded.

The late Thomas Eric Duncan Scholarship Award has been launched, awarding eight young and qualified scholars an opportunity to be trained in areas of the medical field that Liberia lacks. And the scholarship intends to last forever, training all health practitioners to handle services that are scarce in Liberia.

A “gift” that was promised by Josephus Weeks years ago when he lost his uncle to the deadly Ebola virus, Mr. Weeks and the international community saw how poor the health system is that shadows Liberia and offered an opportunity that will save so many lives. In a recent publication in our women and family column, Mr. Weeks shared his excitement https://www.liberianobserver.com/women/new-promise-life-cut-short

“For example, ELWA Hospital doesn’t have an OB and the director for the facility is good but she is not a certified OB yet. She needs the training and we will give it to her, that’s how the scholarship works,” he added.

“This is one of the reasons we want to improve the health system in Liberia because if someone goes to a hospital and the doctor makes a mistake and the person dies, he is done, and no one will ask the doctor any question. It could happen to someone else because there is no accountability, and also no advocate to speak in behalf of the victims.

This is an example of what happens in America, if a doctor makes a mistake he pays for it. The Texas Health Resources in Dallas Texas made a mistake and Eric lost his life,” Mr. Weeks added.

Meanwhile, before the Ebola outbreak, Liberia lacked so many resources, medicine, technicians, even a dialysis machine for those suffering from kidney problems. As a result, many have lost their lives, some have pleaded through news outlets to be taken to a neighboring country for treatment that cannot be given in Liberia.

According to ELWA Hospital’s Executive Director John Fankhauser, with the Eric Duncan Scholarship comes the opportunity to train those who have the potential to bring services that have to be sought outside Liberia.

“I get excited with programs where people are educated, I can’t think of a better thing than for us to invest in the next generation of care workers,” he said.

According to MD Fankhauser, the scholarship is for Liberians who have are pursuing training programs in the fields that are very difficult to find in Liberia.

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