President George Manneh Weah has fulfilled another important promise to the rural people of Liberia that no group of citizens or any part of Liberia would be left out in the fight against poverty and the provision of critical services.
During the 2017 electoral campaign and in his inaugural address in January of 2018, the President repeatedly vowed to take Liberia out of Monrovia by making rural Liberian communities and people a high priority on his development programs.
To this promise the Liberian Leader has been expanding social services infrastructures to the long ignored hinterland of the Country, the latest being a 100-bed state of the art referral hospital he dedicated Wednesday, December 28, 2022, in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County, one of the country’s hard-to-reach regions, the West Region.
The dedication of the hospital brings to an end health emergency nightmare for millions of citizens in four remote counties—Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount and part of Lofa county, as well as bordering Sierra Leone communities—is a major boost to Liberia’s health sector particularly for the rural people.
The program, attended by foreign dignitaries, government officials and a mass of citizens, was a scene of celebration and moment for the people to heap praises and adorations on President Weah for his thoughtfulness in choosing the remote region for the construction of such a huge modern medical facility.
Called The Emirates Hospital, the project was funded by the Government of the United Arab Emirates as a goodwill gesture to the people of Liberia as solicited by President Weah during one of his middle-eastern visits.
The state-of-the-art medical facility covers more than 52,000 Square Feet and is almost entirely powered by solar energy. It also contains a 100-bed capacity for inpatients, several operating theatres, a modern laboratory, an intensive care unit (ICU), various specialized departments and many more facilities that set it apart from other hospitals in the country.
President Weah described the project as an important milestone for the people of the region.
“It is a well-known fact that, historically, Gbarpolu County has been one of the counties with limited access to health care,” the President said, adding that commissioning the facility would not only help the people of Gbarpolu have access to quality health care, but will enable the surrounding counties including Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, and Bong as well as some parts of Lower Lofa to benefit from better health care.
Citizens of Sierra Leone close to the Liberian border in Kongba District could seek medical care at the hospital too.
Gbarpolu County hosts other foreign nationals who are involved in the gold and diamond industries located there, and that those nationals will also be able to seek world-class medical care at this well-equipped facility, the President said.
President Weah indicated that the inauguration of the Emirates Hospital was a further manifestation of his Government’s commitment to improving the quality of health services in Liberia by expanding health coverage to all of Liberia’s rural population.
The President asserted that improving healthcare delivery has always been foundational to the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) and that against the backdrop there have been consistent increases and add-ons to the operational budgets for already-existing hospitals, in order to provide the equipment and trained staff required for the delivery of critically-needed services.
“As we strive to improve the health sector by training healthcare workers both at home and abroad, and by providing free medical education in public health training institutions, such as the Medical School and the School of Pharmacy,” the President noted, “my Government is committed to creating access to health infrastructures by constructing more new health facilities in under-served communities.”
The Emirates Hospital is one of three new hospitals built and opened during his administration, the others being the Gbandeya Hospital in River Cess County, and the 14 Military Hospital, Margibi County.
“When I stopped here more than a year ago during my County Tour, it was easy to spot the historical deficit that Gbarpolu County has suffered in infrastructure and healthcare,” Dr. Weah asserted, indicating further that it was never a difficult decision to choose Gbarpolu as the location for the hospital complex.
The Liberian Leader informed the gathering that the project selection, groundbreaking and construction of this facility are traceable to what he terms “the selfless decision I made many years ago when, at the pinnacle of my soccer career, to leave Europe and play for a relatively unknown team in the UAE, called AL JAZEERA.”
“That move, you must know, was one based on the friendship I shared at the time with the then Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who this year became President of the United Arab Emirates.”
“Though I left Europe at a time when my services were still being sought by many of the world’s top clubs,” the President continued, “it’s at times worthy to put people and friendship above material gains.”
It was the decision that he took and the act of friendship he demonstrated while in the UAE which today is yielding dividends for his country.
The President expressed gratitude to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, for what he called his “profound act of immense generosity to the people of Liberia.”
The President said: “I would also like to thank him for the very high level of representation that he has sent to grace this occasion on his Government’s behalf, led by His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State; Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, and including Her Excellency Dr. Aysha Sultan Aldhaheri, Executive Director of the Military Health Services of the UAE Army, among others.”
He announced that his Government was finalizing talks with the UAE for additional structures of this nature to be built in other parts of the country, emphasizing that the goal is to ensure access and affordability and an improved quality healthcare.
Such engagement is another demonstration of the commitment he has always voiced to help to improve the living condition of the people of Liberia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Liberia: Executive Mansion.