The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Little Clarena Cries For Help

Hospitals and medical facilities have failed the Liberian society massively since the civil war as children who are known to be the country’s future leaders continue to die from curable sicknesses as well as some critical diseases ranging from cancer to heart diseases.

The medical sector in the country seems to have no solution while mothers watch their babies die with the perception that the society has abandoned them because health as a basic need cannot be provided appropriately in a country like Liberia.

Many parents like Mr. Clarence Ndebeh shed tears while explaining in sorrow about his three-year-old daughter who is currently battling with an acute health condition.

Speaking from his Soul Clinic residence and being a parent to one of the thousand children who are suffering from heart diseases in the country, Mr. Ndbehed, explained that little Clarena Ndebele got infected after swallowing caustic soda since 2020.

In his narration, Mr. Ndebeh said the incident occurred when little Clarena was one year old and was allowed to play with her friends at the back of their home. He said ignorantly she might have been thirsty and grabbed a bottle from the ground with the thought that what was in it was water so she drank it.

“In that moment little Clarena started to bleed from her mouth and was immediately taken to the John F. Kenneth Medical Hospital. At the hospital after the tests, I was told that she could not be treated or undergo surgery in Liberia because the equipment are not in the country,” he expressed.

He added that as per the doctors’ advice, he had to take little Clarena out of the country to an advanced facility for treatment but his disability is that he has no money for such undertaking.

He said, since 2020 to present, his daughter has been fed on tube and unable to take in hard substance as her condition has worsened.

However, this is just one among thousands of our future leaders who are faced with this huge lifetime situation but there are some non-governmental organizations in the country that have found reasons in finding remedies.

Research shows that cardiac disease is the highest rated disease among children; of every thousand children born, 7.6 are living with heart disease including other heart diseases.

The Rescue Heart Children Foundation, established to serve as the bridge between hospitals and families who want to send their child or children out of the country for medical surgery, has been one of the organizations with such remedies.

Speaking to this paper at his office in Monrovia, the Foundation’s Executive Director, Jonathan Hart, said the Foundation negotiates with hospitals on a minimum amount to enable parents get their child abroad for better treatment.

He explained further that the vision of the Foundation is to create an environment for every child living with heart disease to have access to good treatment and care.

He said since the establishment of the Foundation in August 2020, they have been able to negotiate with hospitals and have sent at least six Liberians living with different heart diseases including children and adults abroad for treatment.

He said one of the key functions of the Foundation includes conducting research to understand the pattern and prevention of heart diseases in the country.

RHCF’s Executive Director said most children are diagnosed late and so only 5% of those children are diagnosed within 30 days of life.

Meanwhile, he has intimated that the operation of the Foundation has been approved by the Ministry of Health with a mandate that it works with the authority of the JFK Hospital in order to produce a cardiac center to enable children have successful heart disease surgery in the country; report by Decontee Karngar, USAID-FeJAL Media Activity.

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