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Thursday, February 29, 2024

LIBERIA: PARTNERS IN HEALTH RESCUES PATIENTS AT NATIONAL TB HOSPITAL

Date:

MONROVIA – Partner in Health (PIH) Liberia has completed the renovation of sanitary facilities at the National Tuberculosis Hospital in Oldest Congo Town, Monrovia.

PIH is a non-profit, social justice, and global health organization that is working along with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health to strengthen the country’s health system.

The six-week renovation project significantly improved basic water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, including the replacement of plumbing pipes, water and sewer lines, wall tiles, commodes, and doors in 9 sanitary spaces, comprising 12 water closets, and 18 shower stalls at the TB Annex Hospital.

At the official dedication ceremony, PIH-L’s HIV/TB Lead, Dr. John Paul Otuba said the project which cost US$ 21,439.85 was implemented under PIH’s space and stuff (SNS) non-negotiable grant.

PIH believes that water, sanitation, and hygiene in healthcare facilities are preconditions for providing health care of good quality. At its supported facilities, access to stable and reliable electricity, adequate space, and uninterrupted water supply are not negotiable.

Dr. Otuba said the need to have basic WASH services restored at the TB Annex was to address the sanitary challenges that the facility was faced with, particularly the patients who are considered as ‘Bosses’ by PIH.

He pledged PIH’s commitment to continuously work with the hospital’s administration and the Ministry of Health to provide an enabling and healthy environment for patients and workers at the hospital.

“Providing treatment for patients requires good sanitary infrastructure, and what we saw here was a broken sanitary infrastructure and that was why we saw the need to intervene”, Mr. Otuba.

Also remarking at the occasion, Madam Viola Karanja, Deputy Executive Director of PIH-L asserted that in PIH’s approach, sanitation, and space are some of the non-negotiable essential items that must be at every healthcare facility.

“The patients are our bosses and they need to have access to dignified sanitary spaces at all times. We’re happy to accompany the Ministry of Health while working together to end TB in Liberia”, Madam Karanja said.

Mr. Arthur Bushman, who represented Mr. Rufus Saye, Director of the National Leprosy and TB Control Program thanked Partners in Health (PIH) for the level of support it continues to provide to the country’s health sector over the years.

“You are doing it for TB, the Ministry of Health, and also for the people of Liberia. This project will be used for the intended purpose and, I assure you that we are prepared to change the narratives that public facilities are not taken care of”, said Mr. Bushman.

According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, the incidence of tuberculosis (per 100,000 people) in Liberia was reported at 308 in 2021. However, MDR-TB treatment was not decentralized in Liberia until 2017 when PIH and the Maryland County Health Team opened the first decentralized MDR-TB treatment ward at the James Jenkins Memorial (JJD) Hospital in Harper, Maryland County.

Since the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in 2015, Partners In Health has been working with the Government to strengthen the country’s health infrastructure, tackling the systemic issues that contributed to the outbreak and its magnitude by laying the groundwork to make health care more dignified and accessible for those who need it the most.

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