USAID Provides Surgical Equipment to Kakata Health Center

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided surgical and hospitalization equipment and other supplies to K akata Health Center in Margibi County, the facility that now replaces the hospital CH Rennie which was destroyed by fire last year .

Donated items include an anesthesia machine, an operating room table, as well as a standing operating lamp, 3 surgical beds and four patient beds. Other donated instruments and supplies include 4 cesarean section sets, a laparotomy set and a refrigerator will be used to provide surgical and hospital services to residents of Margibi County and its neighboring counties including Bong, Montserrado and Grand Bassa.

On Sunday August 15, 2021, in the early hours of the morning, the citizens of Margibi were shocked to see their only referral hospital, CH Rennie Hospital, engulfed in flames. The Government of Liberia immediately renovated the Kakata Health Center which is now being used by residents as they re-build CH Rennie Hospital.

Introducing the items, USAID/Liberia Mission Director Jim Wright said providing the items will help reduce the high number of maternal and newborn deaths that have plagued the country. According to him, the supplies presented yesterday are the second batch of donations USAID is making in response to the fire that destroyed CH Rennie Hospital.

“Immediately following the fire, USAID donated critical infection prevention and control supplies to health facilities from Kakata to Margibi,” Director Wright added.

“The items we are handing over here today are an operating table, anesthesia machine, surgical beds with operating lights and several autoclaves, surgical beds, stretchers and cesarean sets. These supplies and equipment will be used to provide critical surgical and hospital care services at Kakata Health Center, which has seen a marked increase in its number of cases following a fire last year that destroyed CH Rennie Hospital, the only hospital in Margibi County benchmark,” Director Wright said.

In addition, the USAID mission director revealed, the agency funded the repair of 3 ambulances and provided them with six months of supplies and maintenance. “We are also supporting the Margibi County Health Team in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “In the coming months, we will support the county to increase coordination of COVID-19 vaccination to increase the number of people taking the vaccine.

Receiving the supplies on behalf of the health center, Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah thanked the American government and people for the donation and their overall support for the Liberian health system.

“When we first appeared at this center it was very discouraging because it was the only place we had to refer patients to,” Dr Jakah recalls. “On behalf of President George Weah, we would like to thank USAID and the United States government for their continued support to the health sector by providing all the supplies needed to begin work,” Dr. Jallah recalled.

She encouraged staff, doctors and nurses to take care of the items and ensure proper management. “All of you, as you work in this facility, maintenance is important, so everyone who works needs to be on board. When something happens, don’t just leave it, call someone to help you fix it. It’s the only way for us to come back in six months and meet this facility as we are here today, so we want to bring in the cleaners, the staff, everyone. You have to do your share to keep this facility as it is. When you see dirt somewhere, clean it. Don’t wait for someone else. It must be a team effort at the meeting.

Margibi County Superintendent Jerry Varnie described the donation as a way to bring hope to people in Margibi County.

He thanked USAID for their incalculable support of the county health center. “On behalf of the people of Margibi, we want to say that we are very grateful. This is a symbol of giving hope not only to the people of Margibi County, but also to people coming from lower Bong and Grand Bassa for the services of health.”

Christine E. Phillips