Reports of the constant turning away of hemorrhagic patients by the SOS Medical Center in Oldest Congo Town put pregnant women, accident patients, and others who are bleeding at high risk of death.
An ongoing investigation by Kukatonon News reveals that the health facility that should be the fulcrum of children’s medical care is allegedly in the constant habit of rejecting pregnant women, and those who are involved in accidents and are bleeding profusely.
According to a source (name withheld), his brother was involved in a Motor accident. He drove his brother to the SOS Clinic in Oldest Congo Town opposite Sophie’s junction, to seek urgent medical attention but, upon arrival at the SOS Clinic, he was told by Nurses on duty that they could not touch or treat the injured man.
Furthermore, the source told Kukatonon News, that he begged the Nurses, to pay attention or focus on his brother, who was bleeding and crying due to the excruciating pain and he even disclosed, that he has a medical card for SOS Medical Center in a bid to convince the Nurses to cater to his brother but to his dismay, he was told to carry his brother to the nearest Clinic. When that occurred, he rushed his brother to the JFK Hospital where he was immediately ushered in at the trauma wall.
“Why should people go to SOS Hospital when we have an emergency for our relatives that hospital cannot be of any help to us?”; expressed the Source.
Besides that report, there is another chronology, where some women have whined about allegedly seeking treatment at SOS during the early period of their gestation but, when it was time for them to give birth, the SOS Clinic authorities allegedly would tell them to go elsewhere.
Prompted by those assertions, Kukatonon News visited the SOS Medical Center, to obtain clarity on the matter. Upon our visit, we were given an audience with Evan Lin-Wonlue, the Head of Nursing at SOS Hospital.
“We treat people with minor wounds and our Doctors stitch them but, we do not treat cases of fractures or broken bones. Also, we do not have an anti-Natal service here but if pregnant Women come here we can give them their vaccination only. We do not do deliveries here because we do not have the space it’s only now that we are thinking about having a delivery service and allocating space for it “articulated Evan Lin-Wonlue Head of Nursing at SOS Medical Center Oldest Congo Town.
Moreover, the wounds of criticism against SOS Clinic were further deepened, when Kukatonon News administered a one-on-one interview with the Political Leader of the Liberia National Union (LINU), in the person of Dr. Clarence Moniba.
According to the Presidential Aspirant and Political Leader of the Liberia National Union (LINU), on the starry night of January 29th, 2023, his Mother was seriously unhealthy and was taken to the ELWA Hospital where he was told no bed was available. Worried about his Mother’s condition, he hastily took his Mother to the SOS Medical Center and upon arrival, the Nurses on Duty (NOD), were watching movies. He told them to please focus on his Mother who was severely ill but, to his total shock, the Nurses on duty on January 29th, did not pay any attention to his Mother and they told him to carry her elsewhere.
According to Dr. Moniba, the Nurses that night even argued with him because according to them, he was giving them a hard time by telling them to attend to the needs of his Mother.
In continuation, due to the severity of the ailment, Dr. Clarence Moniba took his mother to St. Joseph Catholic Hospital where he was told no bed was available. After that occurred he rushed her to the Fidelity Health Center on 20th, Street where his Mother, was finally accepted.
Also, Kukatonon News after listening to Dr. Moniba’s account of his mother’s treatment called madam Evan Lin-Wonlue Head of Nursing at SOS Clinic again on Thursday, March 2nd, around 5 PM for clarity because she had earlier asked us to give the date that Dr. Moniba’s mother was taken to the SOS Clinic and promised to give Kukatonon News, feedback on the Nurses, who were assigned or on duty that night but since we did not hear from her we decided to call her again and it was at that point that she said that she had been in a conference all week and was going to give our number and ensure that the Administrator of SOS calls us to speak on the pressing matter.
On the following day, Friday, March 3rd, 2023, the Administrator of SOS Medical made a phone call to Kukatonon News.
Responding to the allegations a voice from the other side of the telephone was introduced as
Dr. Lamini Zayzay claimed to be the Clinical Manager of the SOS Medical Center.
In furtherance, Dr. Lamini Zayzay told Kukatonon News on Friday, March 3rd, 2023, at approximately 10:30 am, via a telephone call, that SOS is not a hospital but rather a Clinic, and as such, they have limited care.
“We have a situation here because SOS is not a Hospital but a Clinic and as such, we have limited care. There are certain situations, and certain patients, we don’t take at all because we are limited for those cases. We don’t have specialists here, what we are doing here, is general medicine and pediatric, so any condition that comes here, concerning specialist care, we automatically referred them to the hospital” he explained.
Speaking further, he stated that they only referred patients if they had already attended to the patient’s needs and realized that they are unable to provide further care.
“For instance, if the patient arrived, here and we know the patient’s condition and we did some lab tests and realized, the case which means we have given the first care, automatically, it means that this person should be referred, that is all about that”.
According to Dr. Zayzay, there are some cases including accidents which could lead to trauma and they don’t have a traumatologist unless the person is bleeding or in pain, they can only serve them medicine and link them directly with a specialist.
However, he told Kukatonon News, that his facility will investigate the issues that have to do with the nurses’ neglecting of patients at the clinic as they were busy witnessing television in the waiting room of the medical facility.
In another development, a patient who currently has an SOS Clinic Card and whose medical records are at SOS Clinic contacted Kukatonon News and gave another jaw-dropping report, on the performance of the SOS Clinic.
According to the former patient and victim of the situation, on August 14, 2019, she visited the SOS (Medical Center) in Oldest Congo Town opposite Sophie’s Junction, for a medical checkup and diagnosis. After her laboratory tests were done, she was diagnosed with Typhoid by a doctor in the office and the medication prescribed, was Ampicillin IV to be served three times a day, for one week. Out of curiosity, the patient asked the Pharmacist, whether that was the rightful treatment for typhoid. And the Pharmacist, who was also a lady responded, madam please take what the Doctor prescribed for you.
Thereafter, the Patient bought the IV treatment including the injections and cannulas which were quite expensive. According to the Patient, one dose of the treatment was served while the rest was to be given subsequently.
Still not satisfied with the prescription, she decided to seek other professional Medical advice and visited the S.D Cooper Hospital situated on 12th Street, Sinkor, where she was diagnosed, with only pregnancy and did not have a single trace of even chronic malaria nor typhoid as diagnosed by SOS Medical Center.
As the population of Liberia has grown to 5.2 million people, there is an urgent need for the Ministry of Health or the Liberia Medical and Dental Council to do monitoring and evaluation to ensure that medical practitioners live up to the oath that was taken to save lives.
The medical or Hippocratic Oath states “I swear by Apollo Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.
To hold my teacher in this art equal to my parents; to make him a partner in my livelihood; when he requires money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the Healer’s oath, but to nobody else.
I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them. Neither will I administer poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as be craftsmen therein.
Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it is what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets.
Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain forever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me”.
With that oath clearly stated, many Liberians call on the government needs to pay keen attention to the healthcare of the citizens and resident as health is wealth.
And for a healthcare center of such that is owned and managed by one of the world’s leading children’s charities speaks volumes to the Laissez-faire attitude of some healthcare practitioners toward managing the health of ordinary people.
Bedeskoe Nyumah Tumbay Is A professional Liberian Multimedia Journalist, a Full Member Of The Press Union Of Liberia (PUL), Who Reports On All Sectors Of Society. He Has Several Years Of Experience In Journalism, Media Relations, Communication Consultancy, Video And Audio Contents Gathering, Editing And Production Among Others.