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… Delegation Briefs Ellen

CatholicPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has held discussions with a high-level delegation of the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia.

 

According to an Executive Mansion release, during the meeting, the Catholic delegation informed the Liberian leader about plans to re-open the St. Joseph's Catholic hospital in Monrovia.

During the meeting, Archbishop Lewis Zeigler informed President Sirleaf that the Catholic Church has concluded arrangements for the reopening of the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital later this month in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The Catholic Archbishop of Monrovia indicated that activities at the hospital will initially focus on the Maternal Ward to be followed by Pediatric Ward and subsequently the General Ward.  He said 14 of the 18 health institutions across the country remained open during the Ebola crisis.

Archbishop Zeigler reflected on the tragedy in August and September that led to the loss of nine members of the hospital's staff including four missionaries and five other staff. “The Church was completely devastated and indeed felt the weight of the death toll inflicted on the hospital by the Ebola virus in August and September,” he said, adding,  “It certainly was not easy and we will always remember our dedicated healthcare workers and missionaries who died serving humanity. We thank God for the strength to have endured and overcome.”

Bishop Zeigler informed the Liberian leader that the Brothers of St. John of God that have always run the hospital have since returned to Liberia and will continue to run the hospital.

Despite the partnership with the ICRC, he informed President Sirleaf that the church looks forward to assistance from the Government of Liberia especially for the healthcare workers who will provide services at the hospital.

The Catholic prelate thanked President Sirleaf, and her Government for finally taking control of the further spread of the disease with the support of the Liberian people and partners. He also warned against blowing-up the success in the Ebola fight thus far with complacency as such attitude could reverse the gains and lead the country back to the terrible experience of the last few months.

In remarks, Rev. Sister Barbara Brillant of the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences and Head of the Catholic Church Taskforce on Ebola, briefed President Sirleaf about the Church's Ebola campaign and the steps taken thus far towards the resumption of operations at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital.

“Operations at the hospital will include care centers, triaging facilities and the regular hospital activities to ensure the safety of workers and patients as we commence operations later this month,” Rev. Sister Brillant noted.

In response, President Sirleaf described the decision of the Catholic Church to re-open the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital as the happiest news of the week for the Church, Government and the country as a whole.

She thanked Archbishop Zeigler and the Catholic Church family for their commitment to Liberia and its people.

The Liberian leader again expressed sympathy and sorrow for the loss sustained by the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital due the Ebola crisis and promised to work with the government's health team and partners to look into what can be done for healthcare workers who will be assigned at the hospital as it reopens.

“The hazard pay introduced during the fight against Ebola was time bound for six months initially, but we can look into what can be done with Ebola still around. We must find a way to meet the needs of those who take the risk to provide healthcare services during this Ebola crisis,” President Sirleaf said. She promised to raise the matter at the next meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on Ebola where the matter will be fully discussed.

She indicated that the government is pleased with the progress on Ebola so far due to the efforts of all and told the Catholic delegation that the government was trying now to shift attention to upgrading the regular healthcare facilities and provide adequate training for healthcare workers across the country.

She also informed Archbishop Zeigler and delegation that in partnership with the Clinton Health Initiative, Government is developing a 10-year plan to upgrade the health sector and system with strong infection control mechanisms for future disease outbreaks and health crisis.

According to the release, at the meeting at her Foreign Ministry office on Tuesday, November 18, Archbishop Zeigler informed President Sirleaf that the Catholic Church has concluded arrangements for the reopening of the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital later this month in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  The Catholic Archbishop indicated that activities at the hospital will initially focus on the Maternal Ward to be followed by Pediatric Ward and subsequently the General Ward.  He said 14 of the 18 health institutions across the country remained open during the Ebola crisis.

Archbishop Zeigler reflected on the tragedy in August and September that led to the loss of nine members of the hospital's staff including four missionaries and five other staff. “The Church was completely devastated and indeed felt the weight of the death toll inflicted on the hospital by the Ebola virus in August and September,” he said, adding,  “It certainly was not easy and we will always remember our dedicated healthcare workers and missionaries who died serving humanity. We thank God for the strength to have endured and overcome.”

Bishop Zeigler informed the Liberian leader that the Brothers of St. John of God that have always run the hospital have since returned to Liberia and will continue to run the hospital.

Despite the partnership with the ICRC, he informed President Sirleaf that the church looks forward to assistance from the Government of Liberia especially for the healthcare workers who will provide services at the hospital.

The Catholic prelate thanked President Sirleaf, and her Government for finally taking control of the further spread of the disease with the support of the Liberian people and partners. He also warned against blowing-up the success in the Ebola fight thus far with complacency as such attitude could reverse the gains and lead the country back to the terrible experience of the last few months.

Rev. Sister Barbara Brillant of the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences and Head of the Catholic Church Taskforce on Ebola briefed President Sirleaf about the Church's Ebola campaign and the steps taken thus far towards the resumption of operations at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital. “Operations at the hospital will include care centers, triaging facilities and the regular hospital activities to ensure the safety of workers and patients as we commence operations later this month,” Rev. Sister Brillant noted.

In response, President Sirleaf described the decision of the Catholic Church to re-open the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital as the happiest news of the week for the Church, Government and the country as a whole.

She thanked Archbishop Zeigler and the Catholic Church family for their commitment to Liberia and its people.

The Liberian leader again expressed sympathy and sorrow for the loss sustained by the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital due the Ebola crisis and promised to work with the government's health team and partners to look into what can be done for healthcare workers who will be assigned at the hospital as it reopens.