The Ministry of Health, through the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center, along with Chevron, has established the Center of Excellence for Infectious Disease (CEID) Control at the Medical Center.
Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday June 16, between JFK and Chevron, Dr. Wvannie Scott-McDonald, JFK General Administrator, said the CEID Control is a healthcare capacity building program established to prevent, treat, and control infectious disease as part of the post-Ebola recovery.
The Center will bring together resources and leverage the expertise and contributions of diverse partners from national and international academic institutions, bilateral and multilateral donors, African partners, NGOs, civil society, the private sector and GOL, Dr. Scott-McDonald disclosed.
The Center will have four core areas, including capacity building, clinical care, research and advocacy and awareness.
According to the JFK General Admin., the capacity of doctors and other health professionals in the prevention, control, and research of infectious diseases would be built under the first area.
“Clinical care will provide a dedicated in-patient infectious disease ward and an associated infectious disease clinic for out-patients. The Research component will conduct essential basic, clinical, and operational research around infectious diseases while Advocacy and Awareness will engage in disseminating information and promoting prevention of infectious diseases through public health campaigns and policy advocacy.”
She disclosed that the Center will operate as “a true Public/Private Partnership model with an initial grant from Chevron, Liberia, a Member of the [Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group] EPSMG.”
According to her, one major element at the Center would be to understand the lessons learned in Liberia during the Ebola episode so they can be shared with the world and built into any on-going disease management and response.
“My fellow Liberians, the world responded, but you did it. We must understand how we stopped the chain of transmission in its tracks, from the community workers, to the youth leaders, the mothers and caregivers, the religious community, civil society, our political leadership, we must understand individual by individual,” declared Dr. Scott-McDonald.
It is anticipated that the Center will become the vehicle for Liberia’s partners and stakeholders, serving as a frontline defense to guard against future outbreaks and further empower the Liberian population in preventative care.
Housed at the JFK Medical Center, the Center will be linked to the College of Medicine, the Post Graduate Medical Institute, Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, the School of Nursing, the School of Physician Assistants and other training and teaching facilities across the country.
It will serve as a resource for the in-service training of health workers with outreach throughout the 15 counties.
She used the occasion to thank Chevron for its generous donations to the CEID Project and its five-year commitment to the health of the Liberian people, “more especially for the difference made in the health of our children. For the past Five years Chevron has funded our Under-5 children’s Clinic at JFKMC.”
Also speaking, Mr. Karl Cottrell, Country Manager, Chevron Liberia Limited, said, “When Chevron entered into a Partnership with the people of Liberia in 2010, we made a commitment to help overcome some of the health challenges that were facing the Nation at that point in time.”
Mr. Cottrell said Chevron had particularly committed to focus on mother and child health care. He said that working with JKF, Redemption Hospital, Liberia Government Hospital, Grand Bassa, St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital, Kingdom Care, Benson’s Hospital and other health institutions across Liberia, progress was being made.
“In 2010 and indeed even one year ago, no one would have predicted the onset of Ebola and the impact that it would have on Liberia. With the strong collaboration between the Governments of Liberia and United States, UN agencies, international donors, national and international NGOs, private sector companies, media and most importantly local community leaders, Liberia can truly celebrate success in accomplishing the goal of ‘Zero is achievable’,” he said.
He stated that Chevron recognizes the impact that Ebola has had on the health sector and that with the grant agreement signing, Chevron along with the other contributors to the Center, wishes to move Liberia past the goal of ‘Zero is Achievable’ towards a bigger goal of “Zero is Sustainable” adding: “not only for Ebola but against other common infectious diseases that impact the lives of every Liberian on a daily basis.”