Liberia: LEC Lights Up Major Health Facility in Kakata

Waterfield Medical Center Director and CEO, Dr. Christiana Koisey Hena, in conversation with Adolphus Scott, Communication Manager at LEC, on key achievements by the Waterfield Medical Center team over the period in partnership with LEC in the improvement of its basic services to the people of Margibi County and its surroundings

In order to improve the quality of healthcare services in the country, the government, through the management of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), has provided and installed a 100 kVA transformer at the Waterfield Medical Center (WMC) in Kakata, Margibi County, free of charge.

WMC is one of the health facilities in that county and its surrounding that is providing almost everything free (or low cost) to over hundreds of residents, including women and children.

This initiative by the LEC management to provide free electricity to that facility is a significant step towards improving the quality of healthcare services in that part of the country.

Access to reliable electricity is crucial for healthcare facilities as it enables them to operate efficiently, increase services and provide better care to patients.

By electrifying the medical center, the LEC is addressing one of the major challenges faced by healthcare facilities in Liberia — the lack of reliable power supply. 

In many remote areas, including Margibi County, power outages are common and can severely impact the functioning of medical equipment, refrigeration systems for vaccines and medications, and overall patient care.

However, Christiana Koisey Hena, Medical Director and CEO of WMC, who lauded the LEC management, disclosed that her facility was established with the primary goal of providing accessible and quality healthcare services to the people of Kakata and surrounding areas in Margibi County. 

She stressed, “Our major project has to do with community-based health — we have community health workers that provide awareness to communities. We work in 90 villages and 33 communities around Kakata.

“And our work includes awareness, education, and treatment. We identify cases in the communities, bring them over, and take care of them. So, we also provide maternity services to the community, which is a newer addition.”

“With this connection to the LEC grid, it allows us to provide a wide range of services, including primary care, vaccinations, prenatal care, and health education. By bringing healthcare directly to the communities in need, we are able to overcome barriers such as transportation and a lack of infrastructure. Our goal is to not only treat illnesses but also prevent them through regular check-ups and health screenings,” Hena stressed.

She declared that her mission in the county is to ensure that every individual, regardless of their socio-economic background, has access to comprehensive medical care. 

“Through this connection, she said, they are striving to improve the overall health and well-being of the people in Margibi County, ensuring that no one is left behind in receiving the medical attention they deserve.”

Hena continued, “We are making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and families in Margibi County, ensuring that they receive the quality healthcare they deserve.”

The WMC Medical Director and CEO, who further explained her ordeal to Mr. Adolphus Scott, Communication Manager at LEC, firstly extended her deepest and sincerest gratitude to the LEC management in particular, Mr. Monie Captan, for absolutely being fantastic and instrumental in getting LEC to her facility.

According to her, the greatest challenge that she ever had was running, leaving the clinic and going down to LEC to ensure that the WMC was connected to the grid.

She said, “When I heard LEC has a new boss, I jumped. When I heard Kakata has a substation, I ran there, and all those things came to no avail. And I have become so frustrated because it was so overwhelming for me to understand why this modern health facility couldn’t access electricity. 

“We do vaccines, and we have to store them. We have solar, but it is not able to pick up bigger equipment. We also have a generator of about 30 kVA, but it is very expensive to buy fuel, especially since we are volunteers and all our services are almost free, so it was very costly for us to take care of the generator,” Hena said. “The solar also has very low maintenance, but it could not do what we wanted it to do. So, that was while I was running and fighting to get LEC at this facility.”

For his part, Dele I. Shobayo, Executive Director for Planning, Engineering, and Major Connections at LEC, told journalists in an interview that the connection of WMC to the grid forms part of their corporate social responsibility.

“So, when we embarked on a dedicated project for large customers in that part of the county, including the C.H. Rennie Hospital, along the way, we realized that there is a hospital in Kakata that is providing services to the population there, specifically pregnant women and children,” he said.

According to Shobayo, the LEC management further established that this medical center heavily relies on generators to power its facility, and because of that, the clinic has to incur a lot of expenses.

“Now,” he added, “we sent out staff there to do an assessment and establish what was required to connect the hospital to the LEC grid in terms of material and cost. So, as a corporation, we took on the responsibility to connect the facility free of charge. That intervention is among the many that we intend to carry out over the period, especially for strategic institutions that provide services to the Liberian populace, including schools and hospitals, among others.”