In the wake of widespread reports of poor performance by nurses and doctors at the John F. Kennedy Hospital, which some victims say is contributing to mysterious deaths at the hospital, the Legislature has begun an investigation.
The inquiry will also include the undignified mass burial of dead bodies, according to families who spoke to the Daily Observer.
The 7-Man Committee on Health & Social Welfare has been mandated to investigate claims of mysterious disappearances at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and advise Plenary (the highest decision making body) before or on Tuesday, April 26.
The Committee is chaired by Rep. Johnson Chea (River Gee); and co-chaired by Rep. Saah Joseph, (Montserrado), with members: Rep. Corpu Barclay, (Bong); Rep. Thomas Fallah (Montserrado); Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, (Montserrado); and Malai Gbogar, (Gbarpolu).
The decision by Plenary was reached Tuesday, 12 April during the 20th day sitting of the 5th Session, following a letter from Rep. Acarous Gray of District #8, Montserrado County.
Rep. Gray alleged that the management of JFK hospital is carrying out mass burials and strange disappearances of patients.
“We have a constitutional responsibility to exercise an oversight of urgency and get more robust by instituting a vigorous investigation into these allegations of mass burials, mysterious disappearances and unprecedented abuse of funds,” Rep. Gray said in his letter.
Following the reading and debate on the matter, Plenary authorized the Committee on Health to meet with JFK hospital management to ascertain the facts and report within two weeks.
It may be recalled that an insider, who once served at a top position at the hospital revealed the ‘neglect’ that led to the death of little Shaki Kamara who died from a gunshot wound inflicted by an officer of the Armed Forces of Liberia during a Ebola-related quarantine of West Point in 2014.
According to Daylue Goah, the former Communications Director, Shaki Kamara was left unattended at the JFK Hospital, causing him bleeding to death.
Goah said officials of the JFK, including Chief Administrator Dr. Wvannie-Mae Scott McDonald and others sat in their offices while young Kamara was lying in front of one of the doors at the JFK, bleeding.
“On August 20, 2014, 16 year old Shaki Kamara was shot by AFL soldiers; he was taken to JFK for treatment to give him a fighting chance to survive the fatal bullet wounds. But he was refused treatment. The Chief Administrator Dr. Winnie-Scott McDonald and her cohorts looked on and later locked themselves in their offices while he bled to death in their office lobby,” stated Goah.
The former JFK employee described the situation at the hospital as an act of neglect and wickedness. “Fellow Liberians, I had promised that I would be publishing tons of documents, checks, pictures and videos on the corruption, neglect, and wickedness at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital next week. But I thought to give you a sneak peek of what is to come,” Goah posted on social media.
“I also have the CCTV video footage of the incident. This kid could have lived, but he was some poor boy from West Point whose life wasn’t important. So he cried in excruciating pain and died right before their eyes! I cry every time I think of his horrible final ordeal and those of others. We must end this now, Liberians,” stated Goah.
Several Liberians continue to complain about activities at the JFK, including lack of proper care for patients and other treatments that are contributing to the number of deaths at the hospital.
Montserrado County lawmakers, Edwin M. Snowe and Saah Joseph recently described the situation at the JFK as a “death trap”. They said there are many deaths at the JFK due to unprofessional behavior on the part of workers.
Another lawmaker, Edward Forh is currently in court with the JFK after he sued the hospital for the death of his daughter, who also died from an asthma attack outside the JFK emergency ward during the Ebola outbreak. Lawmaker Forh is contending that nurses and doctors at the JFK refused to quickly attend to his daughter which led to her death.
Meanwhile, in what is seen as a big scandal, the Liberian government through the John F. Kennedy hospital has indicted several persons, including staff of the Hospital for financial fraud, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy and money laundering, among other charges.
Over fourteen persons have been arrested and are currently remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison based on the indictment drawn against them, while others are still at large.
They include: Patrick Konuwa, Boakai J. Varney, Arnous Rabeah, James Ricks, Lethia W. Waleh, Prince Jallah, Grace Dolly Jallah, Fahn F. Borbor (aliases John Fred Kennedy and Henry K. Sambolah), Thomas G. Tellewoyan (alias John Franklin Kennedy), Jerry D. Morlu, Ballah Holmes, Thomas Oliver Mezzeh, Benjamin Wlay Dargbe, Jr. as well as the purported John Freeman Kennedy to be identified, and others.