Grand Kru County Senator, Peter Coleman, who chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Health, has expressed disappointment over the manner in which he says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has allowed vehicles donated to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to be handed over to other government ministries and agencies.
Dr. Coleman claims that most of the vehicles in question were the ones donated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and was intended to support the country’s weak health delivery system.
“This practice by the government is tantamount to breaking down the entire health system that our partners are trying to rebuild, especially where the Ebola virus has weakened every fabric of the sector,” the Grand Kru Senator said.
He made the assertion on Wednesday when he addressed journalists at a resort in Monrovia.
“Look, as for Grand Kru County, the government gave us six vehicles, but for no reason, four have been taken away from the county. You know what it means when there is an outbreak with only two vehicles functional in a whole county?” he asked.
“What if one of the cars developed mechanical faults, how possible do you think the health workers in the county could quickly move their sick persons from one place to another with such a situation?
“We are just waiting for President Sirleaf to come back from her visit to China. Then both Houses (Senate and Representatives) can take issue with her.
“Somebody needs to talk about what is happening, because if we sit down and say it is business as usual, today or tomorrow, when a problem erupts, what do you think would happen to those counties like Grand Kru, Sinoe, Maryland and RiverGee? How do you think that the health practitioners or supervisors would be able to travel from one end to the other to find out about the outbreak?”
He, however, clarified that he is advocating for the government to use donations for their specific and intended purposes, adding, “If a donor gave you something and said use it for this purpose, let it be used for that identical purpose.”
“If the items are intended for the health sector, they must remain for them. Nobody should take them away because if anything happens, we will be the same people to complain that the entity is not working,” he added.
“This is why we are going to engage the president, upon her return, on the issue, and we would make sure that those vehicles go back to the county to help improve the health sector because they have suffered too much and we need to do something to save lives there.”