The president of the Board of Trustees of Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing in Suakoko, Bong County, S. Tornolah Varpilah, has disclosed that the hospital is in dire need of US$1.4M worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for nurses and doctors to fight the Ebola virus in that county.
Making the disclosure to our reporter recently on the compound of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, the former Transport Minister said during the first outbreak of the Ebola virus, six of Phebe’s health workers died because the hospital lacked the equipment to fight the virus.
Based on that, Mr. Varpilah said all the health workers have refused to go to work and the hospital has been closed to the public, except for pregnant women and children.
“We cannot close the entire hospital to the public but what we told our doctors and nurses to provide acute emergency services to pregnant women and children,” he emphasized.
According to him, few days ago, he had a meeting with the staff to re-open the hospital and they all agreed to go back to work on the 8th of September. They are, however, demanding risk allowances.
He said the re-opening of the hospital will require them to provide some support to the workers, especially in terms of what they called “risk allowance,” which will cost the hospital US$25,000 per month to keep the staff and the hospital operational.
The former Transport minister continued: “We don’t have that money now! But what we are doing is talking to our partners through the Lutheran Church to see how they can ask other partners to support the initiatives.”
Mr. Varpilah asserted that the loss of life is more important than the money; so, “We have committed ourselves to the employees that come September 8, the hospital will be reopened and we will do all we can as an institution to provide the much needed assistance to them.”
The Phebe board president further disclosed that they have succeeded in mobilizing some PPE’s and the Episcopal Church of Liberia have given us some, the Global Health Ministry through the Lutheran Church also provide some as well as the government of Liberia through the Chinese government donation.
“So far now, we have PPEs that can last our health workers for Months but that is not still sufficient to fight the Ebola virus, our health workers still demanding for some,” he narrated.
“We just want to ask all our partners, UNICEF, WHO, USAID and EU to come to the aid of Phebe hospital, so that the hospital will re-open its door to the public in that area,”Mr. Varpilah appealed for assistance.
He, however, said that there are horrible stories from Bong County, since the hospital closed down. People are dying on a daily basis, with no treatment, and people are getting re-affected by the virus.
Meanwhile, Mr. Varpilah said he was calling on philanthropists to rescue Phebe as they all trying to fight this contagious disease out of Liberia.