LIBERIA: Dr. Tweh sponsors Over US$18,000 Surgical Operations For Over 100 Liberians
Dr. Tweh who is affectionately known as Original CountryMan (OCM), was denied by the Supreme Court of Liberia from contesting for the Representative seat of electoral district # 11 Montserrado County, following a domicile case filed against him by few of his political opponents in the just ended elections.
Though the Hearing Officer and the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) earlier ruled that Dr. Tweh was a resident of the district, the High Court overturned the decision, something which prompted a high level of division among residents of the district.
Despite the unfortunate situation, Dr. Tweh has not surrendered on his humanitarian works and assistance to needy Liberian citizens and groups in the country.
Over the week end, he sponsored the medical and surgical operations of over 100 citizens suffering from various illnesses including: hernias, hydroceles, lipomas, myomas, and other subcutaneous masses.
The surgical operation procedures conducted on about 82 patients at various clinics in district # 11 and other parts adjacent were: herniowaphies, hydrocelectomies, lipomectomies, and lumpectomies.
It took place at the Maggie Clinic, Triple MS Medical and Surgical Clinic, Zobo Clinic, and Medico-Social Clinic.
Speaking in an interview with FrontPage Africa, the Head of the Medical Team of the Original Countryman Movement (OCM), Dr. Paye N. Gbamie, disclosed that the surgical operations were in fulfillment of the provision of adequate healthcare delivery pillar of Dr. Tweh’s agenda.
He pointed out that about 1,500 patients screened and 82 selected to undergo the surgeries in district # 11 in Montserrado County.
He added that the complications of those screened to undergo the surgeries remain low, and as such, the possibility of any eventuality is almost impossible.
“Dr. Tweh is a humanitarian and this is what he has been doing before even the elections. The surgeries are mostly minor surgeries. But we have few major surgeries to carry out.”
Dr. Gbanmie, however, commended Dr. Tweh for extending his humanitarian assistance to the medical sector.
He disclosed that the gesture being initiated at a larger scale is the first of its kind in the history of Liberia.
He recalled that most often, humanitarian organizations bring into the country foreign doctors to partner with their local counterparts in Liberia to carry out free medical outreach initiatives, but for a single individual to take the initiative to shoulder the cost of medical bills and services for surgical treatment of nearly 100 citizens remains a strange phenomenon.
Dr. Gbanmie pointed out that the ongoing surgical operations are being exclusively executed by Liberian medical doctors.
“My expectation is that, the level of cooperation that we have received from the OCM team will continue and the reception that we are getting from residents of the district remains. The residents are very appreciative of the initiative.”
He stated that the cost for one of the different types of surgeries being conducted on the patients is between US$150 to US$400, but Dr. Tweh has already taken care of the financial obligations of all the patients.
“Dr. Tweh is taking the initiative to do this for about 82 persons who have been carrying these different conditions. Some of them have been carrying these conditions for up to 10 years.”
He attributed the delay by the patients to seek medical attention previously due to the lack of money and fear.
He put the cost of the ongoing surgical operations and other medical treatment and supplies to about US$18, 000.
“When the patients heard that Dr. Tweh’s medical team was doing screening, they were very excited and turned out en masse. I want to be very thankful to Dr. Tweh for being so magnanimous to spend such an amount on the health of other people. This is being so kind to your fellow mankind.”
Dr. Gbanmie, however, expressed the hope that the ongoing surgical operations would be successful, but called on Liberians to desist from doubting others attempting to help them.
He encouraged Dr. Tweh to see reason to extend the initiative to other districts in Montserrado and Liberia at large.
For his part, Dr. Thomas Nimene Tweh, Jr. disclosed that his support to the medical sector is intended to buttress government’s efforts in providing effective and efficient medical healthcare delivery to its citizens.
He said the gesture is also in line with his biblical responsibility to always help those who are in need.
He observed that many citizens cannot afford to foot their medical bills at various public and private health facilities due to numerous challenges, including the harsh economic constraints and the high level of unemployment in the society.
As a result of this, Dr. Tweh maintained, that Liberians and other philanthropists who are financially potent can extend helping hands to those who are in need.
Dr. Tweh added that citizens will be able to fetch or cater for them and their respective family members if they are sound and healthy.
He said Liberians cannot realize their full potential and in turn contribute to the growth and development of the country, if they are ill and cannot avoid their medical bills.
Speaking further, Dr. Tweh called on private, religious and faith based institutions operating clinics and hospitals in Liberia to see reason to reduce the huge fees being charged for treatment at their respective facilities.
He observed that medical fees being charged by some private and public health facilities in Liberia are so exorbitant.
This, he observed, continue to discourage ailing Liberians (many of whom cannot afford), from seeking medical treatment at those facilities.
“What we are doing is in fulfillment of our agenda to contribute towards the provision of better healthcare delivery to our people. You are not a good person if you are walking around healthy and your neighbor is ill- even though you have the hand to send your neighbor to the hospital for treatment.”
Dr. Tweh, however, underscored the need for government to help ensure that fees being charged by owners of various hospitals and clinics across the country commensurate with the current economic conditions of citizens.
He said government should also see reason to invest more in the country’s health sector as part of efforts to discourage public officials and others from seeking advance medical treatment abroad.
“Many times we hear and see our public officials travelling to Ghana, India and other countries around the world to seek medical treatment. We have to find means to put an end to this. I strongly believe that if we can invest more in our health sector, people will not be getting in plane to travel long distances to be treated for minor illnesses.”
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries have commended Dr. Tweh for “giving us hope to get back on our feet to do something for ourselves and families.”