The people of Margibi County, having been setback by a fire outbreak that gutted the C. H. Rennie Hospital, may soon smile again as plans are underway for the construction of new and modern medical facilities.
On the Super Morning Show (SMS-ELBC early morning show), Jerry Varnie, Superintendent of Margibi County, said his office and all other stakeholders, including the Legislative Caucus will today (Friday, August 20) convene a special meeting identify an alternative medical location for the people of Margibi, pending the reconstruction of the C. H. Rennie Hospital.
According to Superintendent Varnie, the current location of the hospital, which was destroyed by the fire outbreak on Sunday, August 15, 2021, will still host the reconstructed C.H. Rennie, but in a more and better design to serve the population that has grown over the years.
It is not clear whether or not the current land space hosting the burned medical facilities is sufficient.
“C. H. Rennie was constructed in the 1970s and, at that time, Kakata or Margibi in general did not have the population it has now. Conditions have changed and growth is taking place. We look forward to a bigger hospital but, in the meantime, Kakata Health Center and the County Guest House might be used to serve our people.”
He added: “Disaster is not a good thing but it has educated us and placed us in a position that we need to think better on how we can bring about change that will suit present-day realities. Thank God we have our President, Dr. George Weah, who has the heart and is willing to see us through in this venture to have a modern hospital with state-of-the-art equipment and other valuable facilities.”
Varnie noted President Weah’s visit to C. H. Rennie, since its collapse due to the fire disaster, has motivated the people of Margibi to hold together and support the government in the efforts to restore the hospital.
“The County Health Team will also be a part of the meeting and their inputs mean so much to our consultations. We are united as a people and we will do our best to meet the goals supported by all of our people,” the Margibi Superintendent noted.
He said now is not about politics, but the welfare of everyone, including those supporting their respective political parties.
“Health matters are not about which political party you belong to. It concerns all of us and we should make use of every opportunity available to serve our people adequately,” he said further.
Varnie lauded the management of Barkolleh Health Center and all other clinics in and out of Kakata that are attending to the medical needs of patients who had to be rushed out of C. H. Rennie when it was in flames.
“Barkolleh Health Center is treating those patients free of charge. We have been visiting since the incident at C. H. Rennie and they are true to their word. Our people are getting the needed care and we are grateful to them for being good to all of us,” he said.
President George Weah, on Tuesday August 17, 2021 convened a meeting with the Ministries of Health, Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), amongst others in Monrovia and agreed to build a new hospital more advanced in structure and facilities for the people of Margibi County.
Meanwhile, Alex Dixon, head of the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) blamed the many fire outbreaks around the country on poor electrical works, as well as the lack of experience or training on the part of those who manage electrical facilities.
“Electrical faults are responsible for most of the fire disasters we have around here nowadays. There are too many people who are not trained electricians, firing homes and, to some extent, some public facilities. It has to stop if we will have to win against these kinds of crises,” Dixon admonished.
He said his office will soon embark on nationwide public safety awareness with focus on preventing fire outbreaks.
“When we took office in 2018, we met only one fire service truck for the entire country. That was a serious challenge and we could not go anywhere far. Today we have six trucks and six stations with one of them situated in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County,” he explained, noting that there is a need for more trucks and experienced manpower support.
Col. Dixon told the Super Morning Show that LNFS has discovered poor electrical wiring in many homes and, if care is not taken, mainly to contain them, more fire outbreaks might unfold.
“This is why we usually investigate what must have caused a fire outbreak before we can move in to quench any fire. It is important because that will help to determine what should be used to cut off said fire. Using all kinds of things in an attempt to cut off fire sometimes because of more damage,” the LNFS boss said.