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The administration and staff of the Phebe Hospital in Bong County now have all reasons to smile and continue providing professional medical services in the wake of the Ebola crisis.
The hospital is amongst several medical institutions in the country that was hard hit as a result of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, leaving some of its nurses and other health workers dead.
The hospital was closed and that the administration was requesting Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and an Ebola Case Management Center before reopening, while nurses and other health workers demanded risk benefits or incentives before returning to work.
The situation led to the intervention of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, through the Action by Churches Together (Actalliance Liberia Forum) with the provision of two separate donations of medical items, including PPEs to Phebe Hospital in Bong County and Curran Lutheran Hospital in Lofa County respectively.
Nurses and Health workers at the Phebe Hospital were appealed to and begged to return to work while their demands were being looked into. Lutheran Bishop assured that all would be done in consultation with government and partners to address concerns of the nurses and other health workers.
The Phebe administration and staff agreed to return to work, with the re-opening of the Hospital two weeks ago.
True to its promise, actalliance Liberia Forum with support from Geneva over the week visited the Phebe Hospital in Bong County and dedicated the newly constructed modern Ebola Case Management Center and made a huge donation including the settlement of the issue of Risk Benefits for nurses and other health workers, among others.
The cost of the building is close to 40 thousand USD, while the medical materials including PPEs are valued at 9 thousand USD, bags of rice...1,500 USD, and Risk Benefits for nurses....26 thousand USD were donated to the Phebe hospital.
Seventeen thousand United States dollars was also donated to the Curran Lutheran Hospital by actalliance Liberia Forum. Actalliance Liberia Forum comprises of Finn Church Aid, Lutheran Development Service, ECHO Corporation, Lutheran Church in Liberia and Church World Service.
Giving an overview of the Project at a well-attended turning-over ceremony over the weekend, the Executive Director of the Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) "a member of actalliance that led to the successful implementation of the Project" said the modern Ebola Case Management Center was constructed from "Rapid Response Fund" from actalliance in Geneva to address the Ebola crisis.
Mr. Joseph S. Binda expressed hope that the facility will be used in the fight against the Ebola epidemic.
Mr. Binda said he was happy that the Project was implemented within a period of three months as agreed by actalliance Liberia Forum and the Head Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
For his part, the Chairman of actalliance Liberia Forum, Allen Lincoln unveiled a package which includes Medical Drugs & Supplies, and consignment of rice to Phebe, and the payment of incentives or Risk Benefits to both Phebe and Curran Hospitals.
Mr. Lincoln described the gesture as their little contribution to the Ebola response, and called on Liberians and partners to unite efforts in burning Ebola out of Liberia.
Also speaking, Lutheran Bishop Dr. D. Jessen Seyenkulo said this was just the start of many good things to happen and that the Church and Partners will continue to contribute in the fight and eradication of the Ebola virus and ensure a healthy society.
Bishop Dr. Seyenkulo called for proper management and accountability to attract more goodwill contributions and donations.
Receiving the keys to the modern Ebola Case Management Center and donation, Phebe Hospital Medical Director Dr. Jefferson Sibley said he was the happiest man in the world because of so many reasons, including the modern and durable structure which would also be used after the Ebola epidemic is contained.
Dr. Sibley commanded actalliance and assured that the Center and donation will be used for the intended reasons, in the supreme interest of the hospital, staff and patients in particular and the nation in general.
County Health Officer representing the Liberian government and the Ministry of Health, Sampson Arzoaquoi also commended actalliance and called on other faith based organizations to emulate such good example.
Mr. Arzoaquoi expressed joy for the Ebola Case Management Center and the donation and promised to continue working with Phebe Hospital and other health institutions in the fight against Ebola and other illnesses.
The Program was also attended by the Board Chairman of Phebe Hospital, S. Tornorlah Varpilah, a Representative of the World Health Organization Daniel Kibuga and a Representative of the Internal Affairs Ministry/County Superintendent. They also commended actalliance for the gesture.
Nurses and other health workers were seen jubilating and singing praises to God at the close of the program, describing as a new day, "the Ebola Case Management Center, donation of medical drugs and materials, and the settlement of their Risk Benefits, among others".