The Government of Liberia and partners have turned over two dormitory facilities to the University of Liberia to be used by the A. M. Doggliotti College of Health Sciences. The project cost US$2.3 million dollars and was financed by the World Bank and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).The facility includes two ‘state of the art’ well furnished forty-eight bed-room dormitories, two fully furnished classrooms and one furnished skills laboratory. The project was approved and implemented based on the request from the Ministry of Health.
Speaking as proxy for President George Manneh Weah during the dedication program, Foreign Minister Gbezongar M. Findley reiterated President Weah mentioned the digitization of the University’s registration system and the tuition free policy at the UL as evidence of Government’s commitment to UL.
He said the Government of Liberia is committed to training young Liberians in all fields of discipline, noting that training cannot come with only instructions.
“You must have a conducive learning environment for students. In the absence of a conducive learning environment, the performance of students cannot be guaranteed,” the Minister said.
Min. Findley then paid tribute to UL president emeritus Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, former Health minister Dr. Bernice Dahn and others for their role played in initiating the project, describing them as ‘pioneer group.’
Minister Findley said he hopes that with the provision of the facilities, doctors will be trained to meet internationally accepted standards, adding, “It is important that we as part of the global World meet these standards in order to provide healthcare delivery for our people.”
In separate remarks, UNOPS’ Senior Infrastructure Manager Linda Agbesi and World Bank’s Country Representative, Larisa Leshchenko expressed joy for the implementation of the project and said they were happy to form part of the commissioning ceremony of the Pre-Clinical Dormitories and classrooms for the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.
Agbesi described the construction of the facilities as a critical and significant milestone achievement in Liberia’s strategic vision of building a resilient health care system. “The project directly responds to the core needs of the human capital necessary to meet this goal. It will strengthen Liberia’s health workforce by improving the students’ living and learning environment at the college,” Agbesi assured.
Agbesi believes that health care provision plays a vital role in a country’s development and economy, adding “This project, which is meant to improve the students’ living and learning conditions through sound and physical infrastructure will increase the number of trained Liberian health professionals to attend to the health needs of their people so that they can actively participate in nation building”.
Ms. Leshchenko also speaking expressed happiness that the project was done in what she called ‘record time’. Leschenko said everyone had hoped for this day one year ago: “Things like this happen when everybody involved does his or her job as prescribed, but more importantly, when the various teams work together in a collaborative manner.” Ms. Leshchenko’s prepared address was delivered on her behalf by a representative of the World Bank.
For her part, UL President, Dr. Ophelia Inez. Weeks thanked the Government of Liberia, the World Bank and UNOPS for contributing to Liberia’s critical needs through the construction of the two dormitories to train health workers.
President Weeks then paid homage to Dr. Z’Sherman Adams, Vice president for Health Sciences and former Health Minister Doctor Bernice Dahn and teams for their tireless efforts to seeing the project come to fruition.
In an exclusive interview with the Dean of the Medical College, Dr. Z’Sherman Adams said he was happy because the construction and subsequent dedication of the dormitories marked the beginning of the movement of the College of Health Science to the UL Fendall Campus.
Dr. Adams said in addition to the current two programs within the school of Health Sciences: College of Medicine and School of Pharmacy, the School of Health Sciences will expand to include: Nursing, Public Health, Dentistry and Laboratory Technology, which he said will all be located in Fendall. He noted that the dormitories will accommodate Pre-Clinical students of the school, to be followed by clinical students in the distant future.