MONROVIA, August 5, 2019-SOS Children’s Villages Liberia on Thursday launched its first Community-Based Health Outreach program known as Hospital on the wheel (HOW) project. The project seeks to benefit over 11,000 less fortunate. The goal is to make accessible free quality healthcare services to the most vulnerable communities in Monrovia.
Speaking at the launch held in the Old Matadi Estate Community on Thursday, James Lewis, Medical Director of the SOS Medical Center, said the organisation undertook the initiative to help more community dwellers who cannot afford medical bills at the health center.
Dr. Lewis noted that the organisation is undertaking the project to improve access to quality health care for the population by providing direct medical care at the doorsteps.
According to Dr. Lewis the process which begun at the old Matadi community will continue to other communities within Montserrado County. The SOS Medical team treats cases such as malaria, diabetes, typhoid and other sicknesses as well as educate people on the prevention of malaria and other diseases.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Old Matadi Estate Community, Mr. Kemoh Sherrif, lauded the SOS Children’s Village for launching the program in their community. He noted that it is the first time for a medical team to provide free healthcare in his community.
Mr. Kemoh Sherrif therefore, encouraged all residents in the community to take advantage of the opportunity.
SOS Children’s Villages Liberia and other partners has made rapid strides in the health sector in Liberia. Nevertheless, various eye opening data clearly indicate that access to quality healthcare for the less fortunate still remains a challenge.
The health status of many children, especially in slum has surfaced to be deplorable due to less healthcare facilities and the lack of money. Many slum dwellers suffer from adverse health conditions owing to mainly two reasons –first the lack of finance and the lack of health education. This is a desperate situation, which needs to be address in a shortest possible time.
For SOS children’s Villages Liberia, the need to address the healthcare services is a two way approach – first to bring quality healthcare services to the doorsteps of the needy and second to promote health education and awareness.
In such a scenario, a mobile healthcare services delivery system is the most practical mechanism. And subscribing to this view, SOS Liberia has initiated the Hospital on Wheels (HOW) project. HOW is a unique mobile hospital project that seeks to address problems of mobility, accessibility and availability of primary healthcare with a special focus on children and women in urban slums communities.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2017 report, Malaria, diarrhea, skin diseases and malnutrition are the most common causes of ill health in Liberia. Malaria accounts for over 40% deaths. While diarrheal is the second leading cause of morbidity, the report reveals. These existing data are adequate enough to show the urgency of health care availability.
HEALTHCARE DELIVERY, A NATIONAL EMERGENCY:
Liberia is rated among countries with the toughest challenges for childbearing mothers. Infant mortality stands at 71 out of every 1,000 birth and neonatal deaths at 994. Many Liberian lack access to quality healthcare services.
One of the Liberian government national Agenda for Transformation is to improve the quality of life by investing in more basic social services. However, the government since to be struggling to revamp the health sector.
According to Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, Director of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), the devastation of Ebola outbreak has thought the country many lessons.
The National Public Health Institute has been set up to help “heighten infection prevention and control” and beef up health care delivery in the country.
SOS Children’s Villages Liberia National Director is optimistic about the future of Liberia’s health system. He maintained that the organization is prepared to invest more in healthcare. Adding that “He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything,” he noted.
Written by: Joseph Joboe, SOS Liberia Brand & Communications Coordinator