Catholic Hospital Re-opens Today
The Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia has confirmed and announced the official re-opening of the Catholic Hospital on Monday, November 24, 2014 in continuous service to the Liberian people and all those who need health care. Last week at the Ministry of Information Daily Ebola News Conference, the Government of Liberia (GOL) said the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital was slated to be reopened today.
In its official statement on the reopening of the hospital, the Catholic Archdiocese said in 1956, President William V.S. Tubman solicited from Pope Pius XII that the Catholic Church established a hospital and medical school in Liberia.
The Archdiocese said Mrs. M. Eva Hilton generously donated a 33 and a half-acre of land to the Church through Pro-Nuncio Francis Carroll for said purpose.
The Catholic further noted that on January 24, 1967, President Tubman inaugurated the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital.
The church said during the civil war, it was the only functioning hospital in Monrovia, which at a given time was temporarily closed. The hospital has remained opened in spite of many challenges.
However, the church said it experienced its worst tragedy in recent times and was forced to close its doors to the public in July this year. “We all know the raging impact of what is referred to as the Ebola Virus,” the church said.
The Catholic Hospital said it was hard hit losing some of its hard-working and committed staff. It lost the total of 9 staff members including four missionaries and five staff.
According to the church they included Rev. Fr. Miguel Pajares, Rev. Br. Patrick Nshamdze, Rev. Br. George Combey and Rev. Sr. Chantal Mutuameme. Others were Mrs. Layson Wilson, Mrs. Tetee Dogba, Ms. Lanrene Togba, Mr. Dominic Wesseh and Mr. Richard Kellie.
“We cannot reopen this edifice without paying a befitting tribute to the courage, commitment and sacrifice of these individuals. We offer our deepest condolences to their families and understand that in no small measure we bear the collective scar of this tragedy. We pray for the repose of their souls and ask for God’s blessings as we all continue to mourn their loss,” the Catholic Archdiocese said.
The Church said, “We must now pay the greatest tribute by recommitting ourselves to service to our people and continue the work they started. In our solemn commitment to continue to serve the sick, wounded and ill, we intend to reopen the hospital in various phases.”
The church said phase one will begin with maternity services with eight of the total of its 24-bed capacity in the maternity ward while phase two will include the opening of the pediatric ward and will gradually progress to its full pre-Ebola Capacity over a period of time.
Meanwhile the hospital will announce the details of its full operations, the relevant fees as well as procedures that may be required.
“We request the fullest cooperation and support of the general public as we endeavor to continue to serve humanity,” the church said.
The Church also said it appreciates the return and support of the Brothers of the St. John of God for their return to run the hospital noting that this is a display of true spiritual commitment to service in spite of their loss.
The Catholic Church said it recognizes and appreciates the support and partnership of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in ensuring the re-opening of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia on behalf of the Catholic Hospital Family also acknowledges with utmost appreciation the support of the President and the Government of Liberia, the Apostolic Nuncio, members of the Catholic Church Family, its local and international partners, and the Liberian people for their courage and support.
The Church also said it is offering a special word of appreciation to the staff for their courage, commitment, understanding and support which has gradually led to recovery from this very traumatic experience.
“We commend our Church, the Hospital, administration and staff and all our partners to the maternal intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary,” the Church said.