Vice President Boakiai Lauds Health and Education Workers

Wednesday, 2nd February 2011

Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has lauded health and education workers in the leeward counties for the sacrificial services they continue to render their country.

He observed that despite the challenges they were confronted with, they continue to perform beyond the call of duty to bring relief to patients and prepare students for the future.
Vice President Boakai made the commendation during visits to the key towns in Tengia, Ruankorlie and Wuam Clans, including Condobengu, Lemgbamba, Yekpedu, Porluma and Mendicorma.

The tour also took the Vice President who was accompanied by Second Lady Kartumu Y. Boakai, Lofa County Superintendent Galakpai Kortimai as well as local officials, to Kolahun, Voinjama, Zorzor and Salayea towns. Vice President Boakai and party returned to the capital Monrovia on Tuesday, February 1.

The Liberian Vice President observed that as a result of the commitment of our health workers and teachers, we no longer experience the high mortality rate we experienced during the period of the conflict, and that the population of the school-age children has increased tremendously.

He said it was therefore disheartening to learn that most teachers and health workers are not on government payroll. 

“I am saddened by what I have heard. This government wants to ensure that all our citizens get just remuneration for services they render their country. We also want all our people to enjoy social services-good roads, sound education, reliable health care delivery system and safe drinking water,” Vice President Boakai pointed out, adding, “We don’t joke with the issue of water because water is life and health”.

He reiterated that the government was determined to construct good roads to accelerate development, noting, “We have realized that without good roads, we cannot have reliable health care delivery and educational system; we can only attract reliable investors if we have a good road network”.

During visits to the Borma Hospital in Foya and the Kolahun Government Hospital, authorities apprised  Vice President Boakai of challenges confronting the health system, including the need for trained nurses and doctors and to improving facilities at the hospitals.

The Director of the Borma Hospital, Dr. Hayford Howard informed Vice President Boakai that the hospital was the only referral health hospital in the area catering to an estimated 200 out-patients per day, including people from neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea.

He said there was therefore need to upgrade the hospital so as to improve its services. 

In a position statement presented to Vice President on behalf of the administration of the Kolahun Government Hospital, the Medical Director, Dr. Francis Jusu Ballah said the hospital which draws an estimated 60 percent of patients from the two neighboring countries of Sierra Leone and Guinea, is currently experiencing congestion and stressed the need to expanded it.

He also stressed the need to rebuild the surgical theatre which was vandalized during the conflict, and called for the construction of a staff quarters in order to attract qualified staff.

Dr. Ballah lamented that 95 percent of staff at the hospital are not on government payroll, and are surviving on incentives paid them by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) which may pull out anytime.

In all the towns visited, Vice President Boakai was informed that most teachers were not on government payroll, and that they were surviving on incentives paid them by parents.

The District Education Officer of Kolahun District, Mr. William Kollie disclosed that of the 536 teachers serving in the District’s 88 schools, only 124 are on government payroll, and that paying the other teachers was posing a serious problem for parents.