By C. Winnie Saywa-Jimmy
As the Ebola virus is taking toll on the lives of Liberians, the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) has embarked on identifying with the success stories at the various health care centers in Monrovia.
Among the success stories identified by the Association were that of pregnant women who chose to visit the John F. Kennedy Medical Center upon its reopening to have safe delivery. AFELL yesterday presented about 200 sacs of mineral water to the administration of the government referral hospital for use by those mothers they described as being keen on new growth in the society.
Speaking on behalf of AFELL, its founding president, Gloria Musu Scott said their visit was based upon seeing the needs at the maternity ward of the hospital, thought it necessary to give the women hope and life as they bring in new lives to fill the vacuum that has been created by the Ebola virus.
Cllr. Scott said water is life and it is hoped that as the new born mothers drink they will have strength to take care of the young ones as the gesture was presented by the Association’s president, Esther Seaton-Cee on behalf of her colleagues.
The Hospital Administrator, Wannie Mae Scott McDonald thanked the lawyers for the gesture and said since the reopening of the health facility for normal health care services over 100 women have been catered to at its maternity center.
She said what is the success story for them is that women are pouring in for prenatal services at the center and thanked God that there have been no deaths and there is total team work. On the Ebola issues, Dr. McDonald explained how the Ebola unit is a project that is using portion of the JFK property but it is not a component of or managed by the hospital.
She said testing is done at the hospital and upon being sure that the person is suspected of carrying the virus, he/she is transferred to the center just right on 24th Street for proper anti- Ebola care and their admittance is for 20 days at the hospital so that the test can be performed within 24 hours using a special system that is set up at the hospital for that.
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Billy Johnson, said the need for the hospital at this time is to get enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that would aid them in their work because much cannot be achieved when the health care workers are not confident about being protected.
He said a single use of PPE costs about US$ 25 and pleaded that those who want to direct their humanitarian gestures to the hospital should do so by purchasing PPEs for the essential workers so that it enhances the quality of their work.
Meanwhile, the Association also paid a courtesy visit to the ELWA center and met with Dr. Jerry Brown and chatted briefly showing concern about the employees as well as the victims and survivors. Dr. Brown reiterated the need to protect the health workers outside of their scope of duty.
He said it is becoming an alarm that workers in the Ebola centers are being thrown out of their homes because of where they work and that is causing them serious embarrassment. He then informed the lawyers who are at the center that it is only the bottle water that is required because it is difficult to feed a patient using the sacs.
However, the lawyers who took serious notice of the statement of health care workers being thrown out because of where they work and termed it as being illegal to evict a health practitioner because of their job description especially in these troubling times.
The lawyers promised to intervene into the situation and bring to book anyone caught meting out such treatment on a health care worker in such manner and form and also promised to make good their donation which will also include several sacs of bottle water in subsequent time.
AFELL president, Seaton-Cee said fliers were made and messages were aired in the fight against the virus before embarking on the donation. She said the donation of water is to help the patients replace their fluids that were lost.