The George Way Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, is said to be confronted with several challenges, thereby affecting the smooth delivery of basic healthcare services to the public.
Speaking to reporters during the program marking the turning over of the renovated component of the hospital on September 4, 2022, the head medical doctor, Dr. Siedoh Freeman, said there exists adequate electricity supply, and a lack of vehicles for utility purposes at the hospital, which hampers the smooth running of the hospital.
She said those challenges are imposing serious hardship for the hospital staff, especially during the night shift hours.
Dr. Freeman noted that as the first Government referral hospital in the county and also the seat of the County Health Team, the hospital still has limited capacity to enhance free movement within the hospital corridor.
“This hospital doesn’t have a hallway for smooth movement of specimens to the laboratory as well among other things which are greatly affecting the running of the Hospital,” she said.
‘Our staff on the night shift sometimes find it difficult to go to work on time, especially when the rain is falling due to the lack of vehicles,” she said.
Explaining further, Freeman said the walkway/hallway, when constructed, will enable nurses and lab technicians to safely take specimens to the labs without being contaminated by water and other unwanted particles.
There is a report that the Nimba County health system is facing huge challenges due to alleged shortages of medicines, affecting other public health facilities across the county.
Even though she did not mention anything regarding the shortage of drugs at the hospital, citizens have been complaining that every medical drug and basic material in the hospital they have to pay for, besides the services provided by health workers.
The shortage of drugs is becoming alarming in nearly all the public health centers in the county, where prescriptions are given to patients so as to purchase their own medications. Other items such as needles, gloves, and batteries for the thermometers are often listed for patients to buy for diagnosis.
On Sunday, September 4, 2023, the Management of ArcelorMittal Liberia turned over renovated facilities of the Hospital to the leadership of the county, including the members of the 54th Legislative Caucus of Nimba.
The cost was put at US$45,000.
However, AML’s new Chief Executive Officer, Josephus H. Coenen, reaffirmed the company’s cordial relationship with the citizens of the three affected counties, including Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa, promising to address most of their concerns and dissatisfactions.
The previous administrations of the hospital have been calling for the construction of a bigger hospital and a possible relocation of the facility, due to population growth and also because of its proximity to the railway. Yet, Freeman didn’t mention it as some of the challenges.
The proximity of the hospital to the railway is said to be causing serious problems for the hospital when the locomotives are moving. Thus, upon AML’s arrival in Liberia, the citizens have been calling for the hospital’s relocation.
During one of President Weah’s visitations to Nimba for the County Meets kick-off, he promised to relocate the hospital. However, what became of the promise is yet to be established.