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Bong County Faces Huge Health Challenges

-Alphonso W. Kofa

By T. Saye Goinleh

The Bong county Health Team in central Liberia is said to be faced with series of operational problems including the shortage of logistics, lack of incentives for health workers, essential drugs at hospitals.

Speaking to reporters in Phebe, Suacoco, Bong County, the director of community health in the county, Alphonso W. Kofa said the mounting challenges are in relations to caring for the more than eight hundred thousand citizens in the county.

Director Kofa said the health office in Bong does not have enough vehicles to cater to the entire county especially hard-to-reach places. He told this Paper that there are few vehicles in the county which are not adequate to facilitate the performance of doctors and nurses in their places of duties.

Kofa averred in a disappointing tone that with the current grave situation facing the County, it was made worst recently when there was an outbreak of Lassa Fever which more than fifteen cases were suspected, but no death was reported as a result.

He further explained that a single district in the county has about twenty-eight thousand inhabitants where there is just a clinic with insufficient health workers to cater to them.

Kofa asserted that the only easy entrance to this district (Fuamah) is by riding dog-up canoe from the other end across the St. Paul River. He pointed out that the matter is also compounded by the deserting of assignments by health employees due to lack of incentives.

The health official told reporters that Fuamah District borders Montserrado, Bomi and Gbarpolu counties and inhabitants from nearby towns and villages residing in the three counties surrounding the district attend the clinics on a daily basis; adding more loads on the already existing catchments it has to contend with.

Meanwhile, the Bong County Community Health director has disclosed that local volunteers, youths and citizens of Fuamah are working to curtail some of the huge challenges in their towns. He added that traditional birth attendants (TBAs) are helping by catering to pregnant women in the absence of trained midwives in some cases.

According to Kofa, there are thirty-four clinics and three referral hospitals in Bong County that cater to more than nine hundred thousand population, the bordering three counties and neighboring the Republic of Guinea.

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