‘Dr. Gwenigale’s Blood Pressure Is 197/90’

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One of Liberia’s renowned medical doctors has written and informed the Liberian Senate that the blood pressure of Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, is currently reading 197/90, and the Minister has been advised to avoid stressful situations.

According to a medical report dated October 27, 2014 under the signature of Dr. Robert M. Kpoto of the Medlink Kassas Clinic in Monrovia, Minister Gwenigale is suffering from hypertension cardiovascular disease, which is associated with cardiac-related complications.

According to Dr. Gwenigale’s medical report read before plenary yesterday, Dr. Kpoto wrote: “I have monitored Dr. Gwenigale’s blood pressure since October 16, 2014, which according to him sky-rocketed during his briefing at the Senate the previous day October 15, 2014.”

Dr. Kpoto noted in his report that his colleague, Dr. Gwenigale is a known hypertensive since 1985 (29 years ago), but his pressure has been under control on medications until his recent encounter with the Senate. The pressure he said has since been unstable still ranging between high and normal, inspite of medications.

“This morning, I checked him and his blood pressure is 197/90; his pulse is 88 per minute, but irregularly irregular.

I have therefore, asked him to avoid stressful situations, continue his medications and take it easy at work.”

Dr. Kpoto, concluding the medical report, wrote: “I will continue to monitor him until his pressure is stable, hopefully within the next 14 days; if his condition is not improved, then I will recommend a cardiologist’s assessment.”

Dr. Kpoko’s report indicated that the embattled Minister is currently on prescribed medication.

In a brief communication that accompanied the medical report, Dr. Gwenigale, who turns 80 next February (1935) wrote: “Attached,  please find a medical report that shows that my blood pressure is still elevated, and my appearance will make it even worse. I am kindly requesting that you allow me to appear when my health improves. I thank you for your understanding and cooperation…”

Dr. Gwenigale was recently cited by the Senate to appear before the Senate with his lawyer to show reason why he should not be held in contempt after he accused members of the Senate Committee on Health of being in support of health workers’ strike action.

Since then, his blood pressure has interfered with schedules to appear before members of the upper house.

Following yesterday’s communication, retiring Grand Kru County Senator Cletus Segbe Wotorson proffered a motion that the letter be sent to the Health Committee, which is headed by Senator (Dr.) Peter Coleman, who is a medical doctor and a surgeon, to better advise the plenary. “Senator Coleman will advise us so as not to put Dr. Gwenigale in a precarious situation and will caution us as to whether we need to continue with this process, because at 197/90, Dr. Gwenigale shouldn’t be walking around.”

The motion was passed despite the expressions of un-readiness by Senators who were suggesting amendments.

Bomi County Senator Sando Dazoe Johnson, before the final motion, warned his colleagues that the appearance of Dr. Gwenigale has become a political issue, and that there are attempts by the Executive to make the Liberian Senate look ridiculous.

 “In order to save our faces, I will suggest that instead of the Minister (Dr. Gwenigale) coming here, and since he says he is sick and can no longer make it, we just forget about him now and let him go on, because this is a delay tactic by Dr. Gwenigale and his boss…we’ve got many things to do for the Liberian people instead of wasting time behind somebody who is stubborn and arrogant.

So please accept my amendments that the Liberian Senate drop all charges against Dr. Gwenigale and let him go and sin no more,” Senator Johnson recommended.       

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