Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Expanding Health Care in Liberia

The man who came into the ER was vomiting blood. A viper had bitten him, and it had taken him more than 24 hours to reach the hospital, which was far away from where he lived.

He could only afford one vial of antivenin, so that was all the public hospital was willing to give him. It was clear, though, that that wasn’t going to be enough.

The Hospitals of Hope team, which was at the hospital installing medical equipment, saw the man’s condition and quickly decided to help cover the cost of his treatment. By that point, unfortunately, it was too late.

This man’s life likely could have been saved by quicker treatment, but Liberia’s lack of medical infrastructure makes it difficult to access health care.

In the past two years, we have primarily focused our work at JFK Medical Center, since this is the referral center for the entire country of Liberia and since it lacked basic medical equipment. In the last year, Hospitals of Hope has donated $1.1 million of medical equipment to JFK, greatly increasing its capacity to effectively treat patients.

Now, however, after February’s trip installing x-ray machines, a central oxygen system, and more, we believe that it is time for us to expand our reach in Liberia, working with smaller clinics and hospitals to ensure easier access to care.

In April, we will be sending another container of medical equipment to Liberia, this one primarily aimed at equipping smaller clinics. We will work with 2 other organizations on this project, providing the equipment necessary to supply the medical clinics they are building.

Another trip is planned for Liberia this summer, in the last 2 weeks of June or the beginning of July. If you are interested in joining this team, whether to treat patients, train staff, or install equipment, please contact Daniel White at

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