President Sirleaf Tours Facilities of the Medical Charity Ship

Monday, 28th May 2007
Founder & President Don Stevens welcomes President Sirleaf during visit
Founder & President Don Stevens welcomes President Sirleaf during visit
Photo Credit: Abrahim Kabbakeh
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has welcomed the presence of the Medical Charity, Africa Mercy, on the shores of Liberia. The President recounted the significant contribution the Ship has made toward the health needs of Liberia, and expressed government’s appreciation for the assistance, describing the gesture as a response of love.

“Our people can live again…and are no longer ashamed by their hardship,” the President told Executives and staff of the Medical charity ship Monday. An Executive Mansion release said the President assured Africa Mercy of government’s support as it serves the health needs of ordinary Liberians. She praised Executives of the Ship for acquiring a new facility to cater to the medical needs of more patients.

The Founder and President of Mercy Africa, Mr. Don Stevens, praised the President and government for the progress being made in the reconstruction of the country. Mr. Stevens said it was an honor for the Medical Charity ship to be in Liberia, as President Johnson Sirleaf leads national reconstruction efforts.  He expressed the hope the upcoming G-8 meeting in Germany would address the debt issue affecting Liberia, so as to enhance the development drive of government.

The ship, which provides free medical services, docked at the Freeport of Monrovia last week to continue surgical operations being undertaken by a sister medical charity ship, Anastasia, which is being decommissioned, following more than 25-years in operation.   African Mercy will remain in Liberia until November 30, providing surgical and other medical services to Liberians.

Meanwhile, the President has visited the offices of the Management Team at the National Port Authority, saying the Team must take responsibility for whatever happens at the port. In an apparent reference to reports of the disappearance of two ships at the Port, the President again expressed concern at the level of corruption at the Freeport, adding ‘this Port will be cleaned up.”

The President said reports of such an incident send a wrong image of the country internationally and affect government’s ability to keep commodity prices at a minimal. The Liberian leader spoke of a pending assessment of the Port and expressed concern that freight and other associated charges may increase if the Port does not meet the assessment test. She expressed regrets that any increments in charges are eventually passed on the consumer. To address some of the issues affecting the Port, the President reiterated government’s desire to privatize the facility.

The NPA Management expressed regrets that despite recent gains in revenue intake at the Authority, recent events have overshadowed the progress.
A Board meeting has been scheduled to discuss issues affecting the Port.