‘I Am A Man of Action, Not Words’

President Weah Dedicates 14 Military Hospital.

-- President Weah 

President George Weah has described himself as “a man of action but not words” after succeeding in completing the highly publicized 14-Military Hospital project, which his administration undertook in 2018 right after his inauguration.

At the official dedication and grand opening of the facilities, President Weah indicated that the 150-bed capacity hospital is now “Complete and ready for operation.” On February 11, 2018, less than a month after his inauguration, President Weah announced and promised to build a “State-of-the-Art” Medical Center to be used by men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia, as well as the country’s citizenry.

The decision to build the medical facility for the AFL is as a result of the 2017 tragedy in Mali where one of the soldiers from the Armed Forces of Liberia, serving with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in that West African country, was badly wounded and taken to Senegal for emergency treatment, instead of Liberia. 

President Weah said it was a concern for him that there were no specialized medical facilities in Liberia to be used by men and women in arms, and therefore he was taking the chance to provide one for members of the AFL to cater for wounded soldiers and others. At the dedication of the hospital, President Weah said instead of sending wounded soldiers from the frontline fighting in Mali, those who may get wounded on the peacekeeping mission in Mali will stay in Liberia and it will be easy for their families to visit and care for them.

At the dedication ceremony, President Weah boasted that the health facility “is now complete and ready for operation and fully equipped and staffed with a dedicated and qualified team of medical professionals, it will become the central health care facility of the Armed Forces of Liberia.”

The completion of the hospital sets the basis for the President and his loyalists to dispel skepticism and criticism that his pronouncement that his administration was undertaking such a huge project.  In his statement during the dedication, President Weah described himself as a “talk and do” leader who is undeterred by skeptics because he has the confidence that he would complete it.

“This Military Hospital is one of my signature projects, and I am both proud and happy today to see that my dream has been realized, and in record time,” the President said.

“Many who listened to my pronouncement that day thought that it was just a dream, or an illusion or just mere words being spoken which were not grounded in reality. There were many skeptics, and many critics but those who thought that way did not know that I am not a man of words, but a man of action.”

He recalled that development of the Bali Island is also one of his signature projects that he stands by to see it coming to fruition.  “One of my signature projects is the development of Bali Island.  There are many who doubt our ability to bring this project to fruition.  But these skeptics do not discourage nor distract me from my mission,” he added.

The commitment expressed by the President to complete his signature projects stands to silence critics about the failure of the Weah Administration to initiate and implement its own projects.  Most of the time critics have disassociated the administration from major projects that have been completed during the Weah administration, the most recent one being the Japan Freeway that was dedicated in July this year.  Opposition figures and others have over the time made mockery of the Weah Administration for breaking ground for projects but not completing them.

In March 2020, the 14 Military Hospital was used as an isolation center for patients battling the COVID-19, although it was not yet completely finished and operational. 

This was due to its remote location from the general population and, without any patients already occupying its wards, it became an ideal isolation center and played a significant role in battling the coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday’s dedication ceremony brought together scores of high-profile dignitaries and International partners. President Weah said that in the near future, the 14 Military Hospital will provide other specialized services for the general Liberian population. 

“We will have certain services to be offered including emergency surgeries, plastic surgeries, and burn care, as well general surgery. It will become the center of healthcare excellence, providing quality services and comfort for all Liberians,” President Weah said. 

The Liberian leader further expressed gratitude to everyone who helped to bring his dream to reality. He further lauded the Minister of Defense, the Chief of Staff, the Engineering Company, and all members of the Armed Forces of Liberia, who worked on the project. 

“I would also make a special mention and express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Kevin Strathy and his wife Natu Strathy, who have worked diligently and with the dedication to make this hospital operational and ready for opening today.  They left their home and lives in Miami, Florida, and came to Liberia at my request to set up a burn unit, which is urgently needed in this country. I want to thank them for the expertise and experience, which they have provided to the 14 Military Hospital and for the patience and understanding that they have shown in navigating the difficult protocols of Government bureaucracy in Liberia,” President Weah said.