Counselor Felicia V. Coleman, a lawyer representing Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Health Minister-designate, Thursday denied claims by the New Generation International Church that the Presidential nominee is facing court charges for an ‘action of damages for murder.’
Cllr. Coleman said the lawsuit against Dr. Jallah is ‘Action for Damages for Wrongful Death.’ She, however, declined to provide further details on the matter, “because the case is before the court.”
But a press statement read by widower Larry B. Fahnbulleh claimed that his wife’s (the late Mrs. Desiree P.G. Fahnbulleh), death was caused by Dr. Jallah, though Dr. Jallah was not in the country when the surgery was performed.
President George Weah recently named Dr. Jallah, who is the founder and chief executive officer of the Hope for Women Medical Center in Monrovia, to head the Ministry of Health.
Cllr. Coleman said she believes Dr. Jallah is the rightful person for the job of Minister of Health, “because she’s the only female Liberian operating a privately-owned hospital and provides free treatment to victims of sexual violence and. Dr. Jallah is one of the best doctors that the country can boast of,” according to her
“Dr. Jallah regrets the death of Pastor Desiree Fahnbulleh, even though she was not the one that performed the surgery on Mrs. Fahnbulleh,” Coleman said.
On Tuesday, the leadership of the Church called on members of the Senate not to confirm Dr. Jallah as Minister of Health until the charge against her is disposed of.
The church threatened to resist Dr. Jallah’s confirmation because of the lawsuit but it did not explain how it would do it.
The church said its legal claim against Dr. Jallah is ‘murder’ and does not think it would be proper for the Senate to confirm an individual whose character is questionable.
According to the church, it would be prudent for Dr. Jallah to clear her name through the court before taking any ministerial position if the President thinks she is the only qualified medical doctor for the post.
Mr. Fahnbulleh said he is deeply disappointed that the President has nominated Dr. Jallah to the post of Health Minister. “The lady caused the death of my wife,” Mr. Fahnbulleh claimed.
Prior to her death on December 8, 2016, Mrs. Fahnbulleh was regularly treated at Dr. Jallah’s Hope for Women Medical Center.
Fahnbulleh said his wife did her second surgery at the hospital in 2014, at which time, Dr. Jallah advised her to stop having any more children because of her past medical history. “Predicated upon that, Dr. Jallah advised that the family should agree to carry out a medical procedure that would remove her fallopian tubes to prevent further pregnancy, but the procedure did not work well (because) my wife was impregnated. This led to her death,” Fabnbulled claimed.
“Dr. Jallah told us that she did the operation and we signed documents. A little over a year ago, my wife took sick and went for a medical checkup to this same Dr. Jallah only to discover that my wife was four months pregnant,” Fahnbulleh said.
He said based on the circumstances surrounding his wife’s pregnancy, the church, her family, including her spiritual father Reverend Simeon Dunbar, and the leadership of the church advised her to give birth outside of Liberia.
“But Dr.Jallah again convinced my wife that she understands and knows her medical history so that my wife should not travel out of the country to deliver, promising that she would handle the situation. On November 24, 2016, my wife went for a routine medical checkup and Dr. Jallah told her that she would have to be admitted for surgery on December 10,” he narrated.
Fahnbulleh explained that on December 4, 2016, his wife received information that Dr. Jallah was traveling to the United States and would be returning on the 12th, “but she did not inform my wife regarding her trip to the U.S., neither did she refer her to another doctor.”
He said on December 8, his wife went to do another routine medical checkup at the hospital when he received a call from his wife asking him to urgently reach the hospital because she was compelled to stay for surgery.
Fahnbulleh said, “I immediately rushed to the hospital and was told by the nurses to sign the surgery consent form…..I was later requested by the hospital authorities to purchase two pints of blood for my wife, which cost US$75.”
He said the hospital could not give him any fitting response about his wife’s medical status but after her death presented a death certificate, “which stated that my wife died from heart failure, a condition from which she never suffered.”
Fahnbulleh said the autopsy report revealed that his wife did not die from heart failure, but from low blood and unprofessional medical work done on her.”
Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah is a champion of women’s healthcare in Liberia. As the head of obstetrics and gynecology at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center she was involved in prenatal care, emergency obstetrics, and provided medical services to young survivors of rape, many of whom require fistula repair surgery. She is the founder and Medical Director of Hope for Women International, an organization supporting women diagnosed with cancer. Her passion and dedication even led to the founding of the Liberian Cancer Society.