Vice President Boakai Underscores Importance of ELWA Hospital

Wednesday, 8th September 2010
Monrovia, Liberia - Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has underscored the important role the ELWA Hospital plays in Liberia’s health delivery system, and stressed the need for Government to step up its support to the institution.

He observed that since its establishment,  ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa) has continued to render quality services to a large number of residents of Monrovia, despite the withdrawal of support by international partners.

Speaking Wednesday when he paid an assessment visit to the hospital, Vice President Boakai called on Government and international partners to support the struggling institution to make it more effective.

Vice President Boakai who was guided on a tour of facilities of the hospital by the Chairman of the Board Daniel McGill, Executive Director Kendrick White, Nursing Director Nora Gayah and other officials of the institution,  praised the hospital’s administration for the commitment it continues to demonstrate in the face of difficult circumstances.

“ELWA is a very old and important hospital. Even though a private faith-based institution, I believe ELWA deserves the attention of Government and international partners, because it is making so much impact in our society,” Vice President Boakai observed.

The Liberian Vice President commended the administration and staff of the hospital for their dedication to duty, and urged them not to be deterred by challenges the institution currently faces.

Briefing Vice President Boakai earlier, The Chairman of the Board, Mr.
Daniel McGill and the Executive Director of ELWA Ministries, Kendrick White, painted a gloomy picture of challenges the hospital is faced with.

Mr. McGill cited lack of adequate resources to sustain the hospital’s operations. He said the hospital needs an estimated US$500,000 (Half a
million) per annum to operate effectively, but that it generates much less than this amount.

“The intake is US$156,000 per six months, but we need between US$200,000 or US$250,000 for operational cost every six months. Right now as I am talking to you, we are US$37,000.00 short, all because we are not making enough out of the services we render in order to offset the cost. When you take the cost of fuel, the cost of logistics and all of that it is a tremendous burden,” Mr. McGill intimated.

He disclosed that of the US$120,000 subsidy allocated by Government for  the hospital per annum, only US$52,000 was made available during the 2009/2010 fiscal year, and that even getting this sum was painstaking, noting, “you had to twist arms to get the subsidy”.

He said when the missionaries left they left with their support, and that they no longer support the operations of the hospital, and only support specific projects. “It’s been tough as nationals to get it going,” he concluded.

ELWA, a faith-based institution established in 1964, was abandoned by missionaries during the April 6, 1996 Monrovia fighting between defunct  ULIMO-J forces and the erstwhile NPFL.