UN donates equipment to District Health Centre in Nimba County
Nimba County, Liberia, 11 April 2012– Residents in Zoe-Geh District had every reason to smile on Tuesday 10 April 2012, as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) donated a wide range of medical equipment to the Bahn Health Centre in Liberia’s north-central Nimba County.
The items included 20 hospital beds, 20 mattresses and bed linens, a binocular microscope and laboratory accessories, as well as sterilization equipment, amongst others. The equipment will be used for outpatient and inpatient departments, maternal and child health department, laboratory services, sterilization, and emergency care.
“We all know how strategic this health centre is. What we see here today is overwhelming,” remarked the Nimba County Health Officer Dr. Cuallau Jabbeh Howe, thanking the UN refugee agency for the kind gesture, as she received the items on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW).
Bahn community is host to the Bahn Refugee Camp, one of seven Ivorian refugee camps in the Country. Residents said that before the arrival of refugees, the public health centre, which is the only in Zoe-Geh District, was in very poor shape. Zoe-Geh is the second largest district in Nimba County with a population of over 100,000 people. UNHCR rehabilitated the facility in 2011.
“UNHCR is here to support the Government of Liberia to provide assistance to refugees. We thank the Liberian people for their immense hospitality and the people of Bahn for hosting Ivorian refugees,” said Andrew Mbogori, head of the UNHCR sub-office in Saclepea as he turned over the equipment worth nearly US$ 28,000. Depending on the availability of funds, Mbogori assured that UNHCR will continue to provide support in an effort to improving and promoting health services in Nimba County.
Added to the donation of equipment and the recent facelift of the centre, UNHCR Public Health Officer Dr. Gebrewold Petros Yohannes said the centre also receives assistance with fuel for electricity, drugs, medical supplies, and technical support.
“We recently also provided assistance in the form of drugs and medical supplies to health facilities in Grand Gedeh and Maryland counties,” Dr. Petros added, pointing out that a refugee programme benefits host communities. The Public Health Officer noted that the items are procured through the support of donors and therefore urged that the equipment be used for the intended purpose in order to have a positive impact on the health of communities.
Committing the MoHSW to provide more medical personnel needed at the health centre, Assistant Minister of Health for Curative Services Dr. Saye D. Baawo reiterated that all government health services are free. “The Government of Liberia and partners are providing these things free. We will frown on anybody who will ask patients to pay for medical services,” he stressed.
Ivorian refugees in Bahn camp who use the centre as a referral clinic also expressed gratitude for the donation. The Bahn Refugee Camp was opened in February 2011.
Representatives from the Bahn community, refugees, NGOs, UN Agencies, and staff of Bahn Health Centre attended the handover ceremony.
For further information, please contact : Sulaiman Momodu, Public Information Unit, UNHCR, Monrovia, Liberia, email@example.com Mobile + 231- 886493862, + 231- 880418437