The Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), Melchior Athanase Joël Aissi, has disclosed plans by the organization to construct a modern operating theater to serve the health needs of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Mali and other countries in the Sub-region.
The modern operating theater, when constructed, will be an addition to the one that is currently functioning in Bo-Waterside, Grand Cape Mount County, which was also built by the organization and dedicated by President George M. Weah in March 2021.
The proposed modern Health Facility, according to Dr. Aissi, will become a center that will take care of every emergency and other diseases. He made the disclosure following a tour of the WAHO facility in BO-Water Side “It will also be linked to the country’s health authorities and the management of ECOWAS.”
On February 14, 2023 WAHO delegation headed by its Director General arrived in Liberia for a two-day courtesy visit to the Liberian health Authorities. The visit was part of efforts by the regional health body to assess health facilities and projects implemented by the organization through the Ministry of Health.
During a tour of the organization’s facility in Cape Mount, Dr. Aissi said he was impressed by what he saw.
“My impressions are very good because I have seen the necessity of the WAHO health facility here in Liberia, and the role that it is playing in the sub region, I think it’s well situated,” he said. “We are going to ensure that the facility becomes a regional health center to help cater to the health needs of member states.”
When asked about how soon the construction of the modern operating theater will start, he replied as saying; “I can’t say whether or not it will become a regional health center now, but we will make sure to raise the point in order to justify and strengthen these accomplishments.”
However, the proposed health facility which is expected to help Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Mali and other member states, is the vision for ECOWAS, this, he said, was the reason why they are very happy and impressed with what has been done so far.
“As regards to the needs of the country we will work on the implementation of the regional health center here in Liberia that will meet international standards.”
Meanwhile, Gorbee Logan, Assistant Minister of Health for Curative Service MOH, said the WAHO delegation’s visit to the country meant a lot to Liberia and Liberians. Minister Logan pointed out that WAHO being a long standing partner to the Ministry through the Liberian Government, the visit has brought additional things on the table for the Country’s health sector.
He sees the building of a new operating theater to meet international standards as a boost to Liberia and the sub-region health sector. He disclosed that discussions are currently underway, and in fact “WAHO DG has agreed in principle for the organization to build this modern operating theater,” this according to him, as a government they will also make sure that the doctors of various specialization will be available when the project is completed.
“This is a border Town and so we are not only dealing with the catchments and communities, but we deal with people from Sierra Leone Guinea Mali as well. This will actually bring a major relief to some of the surgical needs in this area as well.” (R-L) ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Josephine Nkruma, Dr. Caullau Jabbeh-Howe, WAHO Liaison Officer @ MOH, Gorbee Logan, Assistant Minister of Health for Curative Service MOH, Melchior Athanase Joël Aissi, Director General WAHO shortly after touring Health facility in BO-Water-Side
ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Josephine Nkrumah, stressed that health is wealth, and so “the work you are doing here is not just about the physical health of the population or the community that you serve, but beyond that, you are actually treating a community of healthy people that can transform the economy community of States.”
Ambassador Nkrumah told administrators at the WAHO Health facility in Bo-Water Side that health work is sacrificial, and “if you don’t always have this at the back of your mind it means you don’t belong here.” The ECOWAS Ambassador thanked the Ministry of Health for supporting the staff in keeping the facility up and functional.
The WAHO Health Facility in BO-Water Side is also a key aspect of the ECOWAS integration. This she said attracts different people from different locations to come and connect, learn about each other and that’s how we build a stronger ECOWAS community which goes beyond nationality.
“On behalf of the ECOWAS Commission I will be writing to the President of the ECOWAS Commission to also provide WAHO with the state of the facility, more importantly the potential of the facility to grow and to serve the ECOWAS community,” she added.