The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated a CT scan machine to the Jackson Fiah Doe (JFD) Referral Hospital in Tappita, Lower Nimba County.
The hospital Board Chairman, Peter Weato, announced the donation to reporters on Saturday, in Ganta, Nimba Country.
However, the CT Scan, Mr. Weato said, is yet to be delivered to the hospital due to the deplorable condition of the road linking Ganta with Tappita.
“(Although) WHO has donated a brand new CT scan to the hospital, the challenge we are faced with is how to get the machine to the hospital in Tappita because the road network is so bad to the extent that we don’t want to risk taking the equipment until the road condition improves with the ushering in of the dry season,” Mr. Weato said.
Furthermore most of the hospital’s vehicles have developed mechanical faults and are down due to the bad road condition, hampering the smooth operation of the hospital.
The JFD Hospital is a regional referral hospital where many Liberians and citizens from neighboring countries visit regularly for medical checkups, especially for conditions requiring CT scans. A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside of the body. A CT Scan (or CAT Scan) is best suited for viewing bone injuries, diagnosing lung and chest problems, and detecting cancers.
It is one of the fastest and most accurate tools for examining the chest, abdomen and pelvis because it provides detailed, cross-sectional views of all types of tissue.
It is also used to examine patients with injuries from trauma such as a motor vehicle accidents. CT Scan is performed on patients with acute symptoms such as chest or abdominal pain or difficulty breathing. It is often the best method for detecting many different cancers, such as lymphoma and cancers of the lung, liver, kidney, ovary and pancreas since the image allows a physician to confirm the presence of a tumor, measure its size, identify its precise location and determine the extent of its involvement with other nearby tissue.
It can be recalled that in April this year, the Daily Observer visited the hospital where it was confirmed that the CT Scan was down. At the time, the hospital’s Deputy Medical Officer, Dr. James Sobboh II, assured the public that the hospital was doing everything possible to acquire a new CT Scan.
“We have many other types of equipment here that are used for diagnosis, because the CT Scan is not the only machine that does diagnosis,” he said.
During the Daily Observer’s visit, the hospital was in the process of bringing in an MRI or “Magnetic Resonance Imaging” machine, an advanced diagnostic machine.
According to Dr. Sobboh, the MRI gives a larger and clearer picture than the CT Scan. He said the hospital is trying to construct another compartment that would host the equipment.
This newspaper also discovered that one of the giant generators powering the hospital was down, leaving the hospital with two generators, a situation that causes a shortage of electricity at certain times of the day and night.