Margaret Clark, 41, of Sanquin, Sinoe County, wants urgent medical help to fix the cleft lip of her 19 month old baby girl, Helena Tugbe.
Little Helene’s cleft lip reveals her teeth as it stretches toward her left nose.
“I want help for my baby,” Ms. Clark, a mother of five told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday.
Presently visiting relatives in Monrovia to seek help for her daughter, she said she had visited several hospitals and health centers in Monrovia for assistance without success.
“I’ve been to the JFK Memorial Hospital,” she said, “but doctors there told me to wait for Mercy Ship.”
She said she was told that the Mercy Ship usually comes to Liberia with doctors who perform many surgeries, including those with cleft lip, free of charge.
“I am a farmer in Sanquin,” Ms. Clark said, “and I grow small cassava, plantain and rice to feed my family of seven and so I don’t have money to fix my daughter’s mouth.”
Ms. Clarke said her husband, Kennedy Tugbe, who is presently in Sanquin, is also a small farmer.
Ms. Clark said she had also visited the Redemption Hospital and was told that her only chance for her daughter’s cleft lip to be corrected would be when the Mercy Ship is in the country.
“I have been waiting for the Mercy Ship since 2014 then Ebola came,” she said.
Mercy Ship is a hospital ship that provides free lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is nearly non-existent. It has five operating theatres, recovery, intensive care, and low dependency wards—totaling 78 patient beds.
For over 35 years, Mercy Ships has delivered free services valued at more than $1 billion—directly impacting more than 2.5 million children and families.
Unfortunately for little Helena Tugbe and many others who are waiting for Mercy Ship, its website does not indicate how soon it will return to Liberia. Mercy Ship, according to its website, is scheduled to arrive in Tamatave, Madagascar on August 2015 and will depart from there on June 2016.
Humanitarian organizations and individuals able to assist should please call: Rachel 0775-085-944 and Aloysius 0775-204-882.