The West African College of Physicians (WACP), in collaboration with its Liberian chapter yesterday turned over a BT 3500 state of the art chemistry analyzer to the management of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) in Monrovia.
Dr. Ifeoma Egbuonu, president of WACP, said her organization sees in Liberia a great potential to secure and sustain health deliverables if only the right equipment and space are available.
“It is because of this we sent an assessment team to identify the basic needs, most especially in the pediatric area, and the findings from the team informed us that the JFK lacks the requisite laboratory to deal with pediatric (children) cases,” Dr. Egbuonu said.
She said Liberia is the only and first among the 16 West African countries that the WACP has donated the chemistry analyzer to.
Dr. Angela O. Benson, WACP Liberia chapter interim secretary general, said the analyzer is a machine that will help the JFK Medical Center to conduct chemistry analysis for all patients.
“This item will benefit patients through improved quality of diagnosis as well as sharpen the medical education component of the tertiary hospital,” Dr. Benson noted.
She indicated that some tests expected to be carried out with the use of the analyzer include blood electrolytes and all the routine blood tests, liver function, kidney function, blood gases, lipid assay and metabolic assay tests.
“Medical students, interns, nurses and other paramedical agents will realize a lot of benefits too as they put the chemistry analyzer into use,” Dr. Benson pointed out.
She said the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS) started its operations in September 2013 following the passage of an Act of the National Legislature to establish the college to train Liberians to competently manage medical and surgical complications.
“In order to do that we need to have accredited teaching hospitals in the country…seven across 5 counties were initially targeted for upgrading to teaching level,” Dr. Benson said. “These hospitals are the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center-which is the main referral and tertiary teaching hospital,
Redemption and Phebe hospitals and C.B. Dunbar Maternity Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County, and Jackson F. Doe in Tappita, Nimba County.”
The WACP Liberia chapter’s interim SG further pointed out that WACP has also made arrangements for a chemical pathologist from Nigeria to come to Liberia to train lab technicians on the analyzer and give didactic lectures to residents for a period of 5 days next week.
Receiving the chemistry analyzer from WACP, the general administrator of the JFKMC, Dr. Wvannie-Mai Scott-McDonald, said the machine will be used for its intended purpose.
“It is a pleasure that you have brought in this equipment to add to our efforts in providing more robust analyses and chemistry that we conduct for our patients,” Dr. McDonald noted.
She said the JFK has an extremely large utilization due to the influx of patients, sometimes 100 or even more on a day to day basis.
“Because we do offer under five-year old patient services, that is why we have more workload; but we would like to be able to provide quality health services at all times to our patients,” the JFK boss expressed.
The Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Nah Kateh, said receiving the new equipment is a good thing, but what matters most is the maintenance of the equipment.
“The maintenance is very critical most especially considering cost recovery and the buying of reagents,” Dr. Kateh said.
He called on the JFK management to maximize the use of the machine. He also, along with Dr. McDonald and other resident physicians, thanked WACP for helping Liberia as the government strives to strengthen the health sector.
It was revealed that the analyzer cost US$29,000, and US$6,000 was spent to buy reagents (mixture), for a total of US$35,000.