The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare through the Bong County Health Team has dedicated and opened a 20-bedroom primary clinic in Belentanda, Sanoyea District, Bong County. The value of the project is put at US$200,000.
The project was initiated by former Bong County Senator Richard K. Flomo, who provided the land and began construction work in mid-1990 but later turned it over to the Bong County Health Team (BCHT) through the office of Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, who sought budgetary support for its completion.
The facility will provide services to over 10,000 persons from Sanoyea and Beletanda, as well as towns and villages across the Saint Paul River in Gbarpolu and parts of Lofa County.
In remarks at the dedicatory ceremony, Bong County Health Officer Dr. G. Gorbee Logan, who described the facility as a Primary Health Center, urged citizens to take ownership of the new facility, as doing so will sustain and maintain it.
Dr. Logan said the facility will serve three bordering counties including Gbapolu, Nimba and Lofa.
He said the project was supported under the Legislative project of Bong County with initial six months salaries for 12 staff that will run the facility beginning last Monday, June 6, 2016.
Mr. Logan said though the 12 staffs are not on the payroll of government, they are going to see how best to work with the Human Resource department of Ministry of Health to place them on payroll for the next fiscal budget period.
He observed that government cannot do all for its citizens, adding that citizens must assist government in the process.
Dr. Logan than lauded the effort of Senator Taylor in having the center completed as well as Deputy Information Minister Andrew Tehmeh who donated several items for use at the facility.
Residents of the community thanked the county’s leadership especially the legislative caucus for helping them fund the project that has brought relief to them.
According to residents of the area, prior to the completion and dedication of the healthcare center, citizens used to walk far distances for several hours with their sick relatives in traditional hammock to Phebe Hospital in Suakoko for treatment.
In remarks, Senator Taylor described the dedication of the Beletanda facility as a dream come true, and lauded former Senator Flomo for initiating a “lifesaving program in that part of the county.”
Meanwhile, Senator Taylor is calling for more attention to Walapolu Chiefdom and Degie Town, describing them as the two most challenging and destitute parts of the county.
She said since the creation of these settlements in the county, it was only on Saturday, June 4, that Walapolu got a health center, while Degie remains without a school and health facility.
She also called on members of the caucus to forget about their personal issues and also focus on the interest of the people of Bong County that will bring development to the county.