February 21, 2024

Partners In Health Rescue patients at National TB Hospital

Monrovia, Liberia – The National Tuberculosis Hospital at Oldest Congo Town, Monrovia, has had its sanitary facilities renovated by Partner in Health (PIH) Liberia. PIH is a non-profit organisation focused on social justice and global health that is collaborating with the Ministry of Health of the Government of Liberia to enhance the nation’s healthcare system.

Basic WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) services were greatly enhanced during the six-week renovation project at the TB Annex Hospital. This included replacing plumbing pipes, water and sewer lines, wall tiles, commodes, and doors in nine sanitary spaces, which included twelve water closets and eighteen shower stalls.

Dr. John Paul Otuba, the HIV/TB Lead at PIH-L, stated during the formal dedication ceremony that the project, which came to a total cost of US$21,439.85, was carried out under PIH’s space and stuff (SNS) non-negotiable grant.

PIH believes that water, sanitation, and hygiene in healthcare facilities are preconditions for providing health care of good quality. At its supported facilities, access to stable and reliable electricity, adequate space, and uninterrupted water supply are not negotiable.

According to Dr. Otuba, the TB Annex needs to have basic WASH services reinstated in order to solve the hygienic issues the facility was having, especially with regard to the patients who PIH believed to be ‘Bosses’. He promised that PIH would always collaborate with the Ministry of Health and the hospital’s management to create a safe and supportive environment for both staff and patients.

“Providing treatment for patients requires good sanitary infrastructure, and what we saw here was a broken sanitary infrastructure, and that was why we saw the need to intervene.”

Deputy Executive Director of PIH-L, Madam Viola Karanja, also spoke at the event and stated that according to PIH’s methodology, space and sanitation are two non-negotiable necessities that any healthcare centre needs to have.

“The patients are our bosses, and they need to have access to dignified sanitary spaces at all times. We’re happy to accompany the Ministry of Health while working together to end TB in Liberia.”

Deputy Executive Director of PIH-L, Madam Viola Karanja, also spoke at the event and stated that according to PIH’s methodology, space and sanitation are two non-negotiable necessities that any healthcare centre needs to have.

“This project will be utilised for its intended purpose, and we are ready to refute the myth that public facilities are neglected,” Mr. Bushman stated.

The World Bank’s collection of development indicators states that in 2021, there were 308 cases of tuberculosis (per 100,000 people) in Liberia.

The first decentralised MDR-TB treatment ward was established in 2017 at the James Jenkins Memorial (JJD) Hospital in Harper, Maryland County, by PIH and the Maryland County Health Team. Prior to this, MDR-TB treatment was not decentralised in Liberia.

In order to address the systemic problems that led to the outbreak and its severity and to create the foundation for more accessible and dignified health care for those who need it most, Partners in Health has been collaborating with the government since the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in 2015.

Reported by: Jenner Borbor

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