2 U.S. Orgs. Plan Medical Outreach to Liberia

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A United States-based health organization, Operation International in partnership with Marcy Health Services, has expressed interest in conducting a Medical Outreach to Liberia, a release has said.

Operation International is a medical non-profit organization established in 1996 to offer needed medical aid to children and adults in developing countries. It is made up of 12 teams that travel across the world to conduct surgical outreaches.

According to the release, the team will be led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Marcy Health Services, Mrs. Saiyai Hansen, a team of doctors and nurses from Operation International met with Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, to seek government’s support for the outreach.

Following the introduction of the team by Rudolph Sherman, Consul General of Liberia in New York; Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sanjay Lalla, explained that their team of medical doctors, surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists, are planning to travel to Liberia in June, 2019, to provide needed health services in the areas of general and plastic surgery, pediatrics, gynecology; and ear, nose and throat (ENT) at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia.

Dr. Lalla hinted on the possibility of a partnership with the JFK Hospital that would lead to an annual or bi-annual outreach, and is seeking the support of the Liberian government to ensure the safety of his team and the expedited clearing of medical supplies, materials and equipment that would be brought into the country for the Mission.

“We had just concluded our mission to Uganda and Saiyai and I had a conversation–can we go to Liberia? Can we create a team that can go, and not just go one time? So here we are. Hopefully, if everything works well, we can continue to grow and provide yearly missions or bi-annual missions, whatever is possible; as long as we are able to go into the Country and be safe and secure. As long as the medical supplies, materials, and equipment we bring in can be cleared by the Liberian government in time and secure–we are ready to create that partnership.”

Amb. Kemayah welcomed the team and thanked them for their interest in complementing the government’s effort in ensuring the delivery of quality health care service across Liberia, which is primarily the responsibility of the government; a responsibility Kemayah said President George Weah is fully committed to uphold.

Amb. Kemayah explained that the health needs of the people in Liberia are tremendous, particularly those within the rural areas and assured that the Government was fully committed to responding to those needs; exploring every avenue to bring health benefits to the people of Liberia in keeping with the current development mandate of President Weah.

According to a dispatch from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations, Amb. Kemayah cited the provision of scholarships to fifteen medical students to study abroad; the placement of 2,000 health workers on government payroll; and the provision of tuition-free education to all students at Public universities, including those studying Health Sciences, as “evidence of the unflinching practical commitment of President Weah to ensuring a quality health service delivery system, and improving the country’shealth sector.”

He then expressed interest for a sustained partnership that would go beyond the JFK Hospital, and reach out to the Jackson Fiah Doe Hospital and other health facilities in rural Liberia, including, but not limited to Lofa County, Southeastern Liberia, and Western Liberia.

Kemayah also stressed the need for a technical partnership with Operation International and the Ministry of Health, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia, the only instructional medical doctors producing institution in the country, the Liberia Medical and Dental Council, Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts, Liberia Nursing Association, Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery and other stakeholders in the health sector.

“We are interested in a sustained tripartite partnership and not a one-shot arrangement or medical outreach to Liberia. As a government and as the ambassador representing the government and People of Liberia in New York, the least we will want to see is an outreach that is done on an annual basis to benefit more of our people. I am also concerned about the sustainability aspect. We have a shared vision of capacity building through training and support for medical supplies, materials, equipment, and other relevant logistical needs; that is an integral part that we will like to see in this partnership,” he said.

Amb. Kemayah pledged the government’s commitment to Operation International and Marcy Health Services’ first medical outreach to the country, and proposed that it be used to commission and sign a tripartite agreement for a sustained partnership for future endeavors.

Dr. Allam assured that this would be the start of a fruitful partnership that would go beyond Medical Outreaches to include upgrading of facilities and equipment at Public Health Centers across Liberia, as well as a provision of technical support to the Liberia Medical and Dental Council and the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.

The delegation that represented Operation International in partnership with Marcy Health Services at the meeting, included Dr. Medhat Allam, Co-Founder and Head of Operation International, Mrs. Saiyai Hansen, CEO, Marcy Health Services, Dr. Sanjay Lalla, Plastic Surgeon, Operation International, Dr. John O’Shea, Trip Chief, Ms. Erin Morr, APN/Pediatrics, Operation International and Mrs. Evelyn Jones, Consultant, Marcy Health Services.

The meeting was co-facilitated by Rudolph Sherman, Consul General of Liberia in New York, Mrs. Saiyai Hansen, CEO, Marcy Health Services and Mrs. Evelyn Jones, Consultant, Marcy Health Services.

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