News

Women Receive Care at Jallah Lone Hospital in Gbarpolu

28 February 2017
More than 40 Cesarean Sections were performed at the facility between February and June this year, something which represents a major boost in service delivery for the facility.
More than 40 Cesarean Sections were performed at the facility between February and June this year, something which represents a major boost in service delivery for the facility.

She may not have been there for long but six months seem long enough for her to command the admiration of many women with obstetrical and gynecological issues in Gbarpolu County. Dr. Susan Kimono is among the three Ugandan obstetricians and gynecologists deployed in Liberia and based in Gbarpolu via a joint partnership agreement between UNFPA and the Government of Japan in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

In addition to providing clinical services at the Chief Jallah Lone Hospital in Bopolu, Dr. Kimono is helping with in-service capacity development of medical staff at the hospital. She mentors and also supports the overall maternal and newborn health delivery system of the county. “There has been an increase in the number of women visiting the hospital to seek obstetrical or gynecological services since the arrival of Dr. Kimono;” says Dr. Claresia S. Jallah, Medical Director of Chief Jallah Lone Hospital. Dr. Jallah added that the major facilitating factors for the increase in facility utilization is the constant community engagement and awareness activities about Obstetrical and gynecological conditions and the availability of care at the Chief Jallah Lone Hospital for women and girls which is led by Dr. Kimono.

According to the hospital records, more than 40 Cesarean Sections were performed at the facility between February and June this year, something which represents a major boost in service delivery for the facility. But the hospital has not been able to cope with the influx of patients. “We have to prioritize women needing obstetrical services over those requiring gynecological services because of the high maternal death and limited capacity by the hospital and its staff;” says Dr. Kimono.

However, many women have benefited from various gynecological services including hysterectomy, tubal blowout, and D&C for the treatment of infertility. “We run GYN clinic every Monday and Thursday to look after patients with special needs including infertility. We have been overwhelmed by the number of women we receive on these days. We are able to treat only 10 patients on each service day due to the lack of space and skilled manpower which often leads many women to go back home without treatment;” says Dr. Kimono. Midwives at the hospital have also been encouraged and trained by Dr. Kimono to provide postpartum family planning.

The OBGYN specialist says this has also helped young mothers with the prevention of unintended pregnancy and closely spaced pregnancies through the first 12 months following childbirth. “When we first arrived, we noticed that there was no postpartum family services available. So we decided to engage the midwives working with us to counsel women after they have just delivered; especially those who are desirous of adequately spacing their children, to receive Intrauterine Device (IUD);” Dr. Kimono said.

“We hope that Dr. Kimono can stay with us for a longer time as she has been a great addition to strengthening human resource in Gbarpolu County health team. But we are preparing to continue providing women with the same obstetrical and gynecological services the services after the departure of Dr. Kimono;” adds Dr. Jallah. She however expressed fear that taking over the tasks being performed by Dr. Kimono may prove difficult, as there was no resident doctor at the hospital which was transformed from a health center status to hospital with no major expansion in its infrastructure facilities.

Since the launch of Liberia’s Investment Plan for Building a Resilient Health System in June 2015, UNFPA has stepped up efforts to support the Ministry of Health to ensure the availability of skilled health care providers across the country. UNFPA is also helping with the supply of equipment and infrastructural expansion needed to restore basic health services, including maternal and newborn health services. There is an ongoing expansion of the Chief Jallah Lone Hospital supported by UNFPA with funding from the Government of Japan and the World Bank to include additional delivery room, labor ward, operating theaters, antenatal care, and OB/GYN units.