As associates, partners and sympathizers donate to its US$ 200,000 target
The medical outreach program of the Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA) recently received a major boost as several persons who attended its officers’ installation program initiated donations to its US$200,000 target for the program.
The event, held at a resort in Paynesville, saw Dr. Emmanuel K. Ekyinaba, Dr. Abraham Jawara, Dr. Yuah A. Nemah and Dr. Odell Kumeh installed into their respective offices as president, vice president, secretary general and treasurer.
They were elected on December 8, 2018 and, on Friday, February 15, officially took over the LMDA as a team committed to delivering on great promises and expectations.
This new leadership thereby replaced Drs. Louise M. Kpoto, Linda A. Birch, Jonathan M. M. Hart and Yassah Barclay, who steered the affairs of the LMDA since 2017.
Every team elected is clothed with the responsibility to steer the affairs of the association for two years.
Dr. Tolbert Nyensuah served as the chief launcher of the fundraiser and he cautioned Liberians across the country to see the health sector as their own instead of the health sector being perceived as a sector working against a group of people or in the interest of a select group of people.
“It is an honor that the LMDA has chosen me to come and serve the role of a keynote speaker and chief launcher of its fundraiser campaign. I hold the privilege in high esteem and challenge the new leadership to double-up efforts in accomplishing what the old team began but could not complete and do other good medical undertakings even yet to be known by us here and the people to whom we owe it a duty to serve,” Nyensuah admonished the new LMDA leadership.
He said the LMDA has the support of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL). NPHIL is an agency of the Ministry of Health that is involved with detecting, preventing and researching disease outbreaks in the country. Nyensuah is its director general.
The NPHIL was established following the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in 2014/2015 in an effort to keep surveillance on any disease threatening a portion of the country’s population or the nation as a whole.
Nyensuah added that medicine cannot be divorced from public health and, as such, it is not only the responsibility of LMDA and NPHIL to raise concern and attend to people in areas, mainly those so remote from the Monrovia and its environs but every other component, be it private or public, of the health sector in the country.
The NPHIL boss contributed in his name and on behalf of his family the sum of US$500 (cash) and promised to give another US$500 via check at the end of February.
He also pledged on behalf of his office US$1,000 to be also be paid at the end of the same month.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, launched the LMDA journal and admonished all medical doctors and other health practitioners to write their findings from work and research and publish in the journal.
Dr. Jallah said that initiative, which has been in existence for some time now at the LMDA, is a laudable venture not only for those who write and publish but also people who read and get inspired by the works of the health sector in general.
Taking the helm at the LMDA as its new president, Dr. Emmanuel K. Ekyeinabah called on the government, partners as well as all well-meaning Liberians to support the capacity building and medical outreach programs of LMDA.
“We are in a very special partnership. You take good care of us, we will take good care of you in return,” Ekyeinabah said.
He said healthcare financing in the country is not in the right trajectory as over sixty percent of it comes from individuals, instead of institutions and government.
“Many people in this country do not have money to pay for their medical care. Therefore, a lot of relent coming to healthcare centers, an action that also leads to deaths that can possibly be prevented,” he said.
Dr. Ekeyinabah said until the health sector can adequately be supported by not only government but everyone, it will be very difficult for the country to realize the universal goal of good healthcare for all, regardless of economic status.
He said the US$200,000 target for the training of more doctors in specialized areas and going out to treat people who are suffering from several medical cases in many parts of the country but lack the financial means to attend to their cases at hospitals is not a limit but an initial amount needed to get the LMDA working on its goals.
He thanked all those who showed up at the fundraiser dinner for sacrificing their time and money to see that LMDA succeeds.
Earlier on the stage was the immediate former president of LMDA, Dr. Louise M. Kpoto.
Dr. Kpoto said two years of stewardship at the LMDA was not a honeymoon ride but a challenge to deal with critical and very worthy medical missions.
“I applaud all of you with whom I worked over the years and even those of you who came along to help LMDA in so many of its operations and programs,” Kpoto said.
She added: “You challenged me to learn how to be honest and I’m grateful that I scored a good mark. This kept our revolutionary spirit of service alive and influenced our characters as we serve at the will and pleasure of all of you.”
She said caring for patients with compassionate hearts should never escape the thoughts of any medical doctor or even a nurse aid at any healthcare center.
“Dr. Ekyeinabah, you have the support of me and my colleagues who helped so much over the past two years as we serve at the LMDA. Count on us at any time when it comes to service to our country and people,” she said.
The managing partner of the Sherman and Sherman law firm, Cllr. Moses Paegar, who was tipped to install the new LMDA officers, was proxied by Attorney Arthur Morrison.
Atty. Morrison admonished the new team to be committed to doing good for their organization and country.
The new leadership meanwhile honored all past leaders of the LMDA and thanked them for setting good examples over the years.
Tens of thousands of United States Dollars and Liberian dollars were raised at the fundraiser dinner through donations and purchase of tickets for entry as over 400 persons were in attendance.