Big Boost For Health Sector…As Liberia Gets First Anesthesia Machine

The Liberian Government through the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital has received a major health equipment, the Universal Anesthesia Machine (UAM), an internationally standard medical tool used to boost surgical and delivery initiatives at referral hospitals.

The machine which was donated by the Gradian Health Systems, a New York Based Medical Institution, was presented to the Liberian Government on Wednesday, July 22 by executives of Gradian who promised to provide technical support as well as training for the Liberian medical staff.

Presenting the machine at an official turning over ceremony held at the Administrative Building of JFK, Mr. Stephen Rudy, CEO of GRIDIAN HEALTH SYSTEMS, said emergency and essential surgery and anesthetic care are key components of primary health care and therefore are lacking in many parts of the world.”

According to Mr. Rudy, one of the major causes of surgical disparity is inadequate infrastructure to support surgery and recovery in health facilities across the developing world; adding that hospitals in these regions experience a regular shortage of compressed medical gases, either of which will disable a conventional anesthesia machine.

“The optional ventilator provides electrically-driven automatic ventilation in volume and pressure control modes, and will operate without mains power for up to 6 hours on rechargeable battery power.”

He added that without a working UAM, surgeries that require general anesthesia cannot be safely performed. He stressed that in the absence of anesthesia capability, patients must be referred to higher-level facilities or postponed their surgery, leaving them more vulnerable to death or disability from surgically treatable conditions.

The GRADIAN CEO also mentioned that his institution will work closely with the Liberian government to ensure that spare-parts for the machine reach Liberia in a timely manner indicating that maintenance of such equipment is very expensive. The Gradian delegation also volunteered to render free training for staff at the JFK Medical Hospital and reiterated the need for a stronger future partnership.

The Universal Anesthesia Machine (UAM) delivers safe anesthesia in any hospital, including those where unreliable electricity and shortages of compressed medical gases preclude the use of conventional machines.

Receiving the UAM on behalf of the Liberian Government, Dr. Edward B. McClain, Jr, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, said the donation is a major boost to Liberia’s health sector and at the same time lauded the gesture of Gradian Health Systems on behalf of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and people of Liberia.

Dr. McClain indicated that the government of Liberia remains committed to improving the country’s health sector and therefore will welcome partnership with major western health and medical institutions with the hope of boosting the country’s recovering health sector.

Also speaking, Liberia’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Julia Duncan-Cassell said donation is a major step in returning hope to pregnant women. “We appreciate this gesture and we will forever remember your kindness Gradian.”

For her part, Dr. Wannie Scott-McDonald, Administrator of JFK Medical Hospital, said the people of Liberia will not stop thanking the Gradian Health Systems and its executives as the Universal Anesthesia Machine comes at a time when the country needs it most.

“I will appreciate if we could have one more of this machine for the Redemption Hospital, another major health facility in the country. Our country is so proud of you and all those who helped in making this donation a success. We are grateful; our health sector needs your support and especially in these time,” Dr. Wannie Scott-McDonald added.

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