Liberia: US$455K Eye Center Opens at Jackson F. Doe Hospital

Public health centers of all sizes in Nimba, including George Way Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie and the Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Hospital (pictured), are facing a major shortage of drugs to treat patients.  

One of Liberia’s premium eye health care entities, New Sight Eye Center (NSEC) with support from Lions Clubs International Foundation, has extended services in another part of Liberia.

This time, NSEC  dedicated the Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Regional Referral Hospital state-of-the-art Eye Center in the Tappita District, Nimba County, in one of Liberia’s fifteen sub-political divisions about several hundreds of miles from Monrovia.

The center has the components of a visual acuity room, operation room, procedure room, two consultant rooms, patient waiting room, storeroom as well as office and server room and valued at over US$400 is part of a Private–Public Partnership involving the Health Ministry and the company.

At the official opening of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Regional Referral Hospital Eye Center in Tappita, NSEC Chief Executive Officer, Robert F. Dolo, said the setting up of another eye center in this part of Liberia is to make eye healthcare services accessible and affordable for the population.

Mr. Dolo indicated: “This initiative by NSEC and partners is to buttress efforts of the government in helping to reduce blindness amongst Liberians and other foreign nationals who are finding it very difficult to access healthcare services because of limitation of eye healthcare institutions in Liberia”.

He stressed that though the challenges in providing eye healthcare services are numerous, the entity remains committed and dedicated to reducing the many eye complications being experienced by unprivileged people.   

Mr. Dolo also expressed thanks and appreciation to the Liberian Government through the Health Ministry, Lions Clubs International Foundation through Lions Clubs of Liberia for accepting the entity’s project proposal that enables it to extend eye services to other people across the country. 

“Dedicating this center at this hospital is a dream-come-true for the New Sight Eye Center because it is amongst our core values to reach the unreachable throughout and the deprived communities with better eye health care delivery,” Mr. Dolo pointed out.

He emphasized that one of the things that will forever please him is to see the eye center at Jackson Fiah Doe Memorial Regional Referral Hospital to continue to provide the needed services to the people when the entity pulled out in three years.

Mr. Dolo said during the three-year period NSEC is expected to demonstrate best practice, transparency and technician support throughout the project, indicating that this is done to buttress the Ministry of Health's effort toward achieving universal access to eye health care in rural Liberia.

He, however, stated that the goal and mission of the eye center at the hospital are to provide routine access to quality eye healthcare services geared towards reduction of blindness and visual impairment in rural Liberia and to effectively and efficiently deliver comprehension eye health services that are equitable, accessible, available, acceptable and sustainable for people in the rural part of the country.

“The dedication of this eye center here today is significant to New Sight Eye Center and we consider this as a major achievement to the Health Ministry and the Liberian Government for those living in Liberia and so I ask the JFD family to take ownership and keep it running. The only flower I will need from you is to give the eye center all necessary support as they continue to provide such needed care”, Mr. Dolo concluded.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Regional Referral Hospital, Ponnie Robertlee Dolo, thanked NSEC and partners for what he terms as a worthwhile venture at the hospital and promised that the facility will be used for its intended purpose. 

Dr. Dolo called on staffers and employees of the hospital to join forces to ensure that the eye center will get better at providing services to the people in the coming years.

For his part, the National Eye Health Director at the Health Ministry, Dr. Joseph Kerkulah said the ministry will work with all entities including NSEC to ensure eye healthcare services are decentralized to meet the eye care delivery of the people.

In her brief remark, the Lions Clubs Regional Chairperson, Madrid Dean, praised New Sight Eye Center for the level of eye health care services it is providing the people from support it is receiving from Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Meanwhile, a Board Member of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Regional Referral Hospital who performed the cutting of the ribbon to the eye center admonished residents of Tappita to take ownership of the center by being supportive and its sustainability.

Currently, NSEC is also operating the first Eye Center at the Liberian Government runs Hospital in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County which was opened in September of 2020 under the same private-public partnership program that has been effectively functioning, with support from the Lions Clubs International Foundation through the Lions Clubs of Liberia support.