BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa â€“ UNDP has restored electricity at Grand Bassaâ€™s largest hospital, after installing solar panels at the Liberian Government Hospital.
The project came in the wake of an agreement signed between UNDP and the Ministry of Health in December 2019 to electrify several hospitals and other health facilities across the country. The Liberia Government Hospital was gutted by fire twice in 2018, which damaged the hospitalâ€™s generators. The government recently renovated the hospital, but limited financial support has meant that the hospital has not been able to fuel its generators.
According to the medical director of the hospital, Dr. Abraham Jawara, the electricity will now allow departments such as the maternity ward, operating theater, and emergency room to function without hindrance. This will mitigate the cost of fuel oil,â€ he said. â€œAs you may know, the installation of the solar panel is going to have [a] significant reduction into the expenditures of the hospital.â€
With the presence of the solar panels at the hospital, Jawara said nurses and doctors would no longer have to use phones and flashlights during operations. The Liberian Government Hospital caters to patients from River Cess and Sinoe Counties, but due to the lack of stable electricity at the hospital, major operations were being referred to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia.
Jawara says despite the installation of the solar panels, the hospital will still maintain its generator in case of emergencies. â€œNow that we have electricity, we are going to do our best to save lives. We will be able to see our patients at all times,â€ he added.
Under the 2019/2020 fiscal year, US$200,000 was allotted for the Liberian Government Hospital, but the hospital has only received US$125,000 up to present. Grand Bassa citizens have now been pushing for the hospital to be allowed to charge money, contrary to the governmentâ€™s free healthcare policy. Citizens in the county had also started a committee to raise funds to support the hospital.
Featured photo by Sampson David