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Where Is the Roadmap to Liberia’s Post-Ebola Recovery?

first_imgHas anyone ever heard the term “donor fatigue?”  It is real, especially in the developing world, which usually depends so much on external or donor support for sustenance in many aspects of national life. Donor fatigue comes about for mainly three reasons: first, when a country consistently misuses the donor support; second, when a country refuses to identify and be focused on its most urgent priorities; and third, when there occurs another major crisis in another part of the world that demands the donors’ immediate attention.  In this case, the donors quickly pack their bags and run to respond to the new crisis.We begin this Editorial in this way out of fear! Why fear?  Because we are worried that the Liberian government is wasting time in coming up with a Roadmap that sets the stage for our post-Ebola recovery.Why?  Because we had hoped that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would have made this roadmap the centerpiece of her Annual Message to the Legislature last Monday.  With the Ebola virus disease (EVD) having ravaged the country, drastically reducing our over 8% economic growth rate to 0.4%, affecting negatively ALL productive sectors of our economy—agriculture, mining, tourism—and even education, which is already in shambles—did the President have anything more important to say to the Legislature, nation and world than dealing with this most urgent priority of our time—rebuilding our healthcare delivery system?  We think not.We rather believe this roadmap to the revitalization of our Healthcare Delivery System is most critical for three reasons: first, because by the President’s own admission, it was the weakness of the healthcare system that caused Ebola to spread so rapidly, so quickly throughout Liberia.  Second, because just this Tuesday a senior World Bank official warned that any other pandemic could quickly spread again in many parts of Africa because of the weak healthcare delivery system prevalent all over the continent. Our third and probably most important reason we believe the roadmap is critical is one that only a fool will argue against: the international community has, in the face of Liberia’s Ebola crisis, reached out, if even belatedly, and helped to defeat the viral spread.  Today, thanks to their largesse, there are throughout the country no new cases, and only five confirmed.But that is not all!  Here is our main point: Our friends, the People’s Republic of China, in addition to the tens of millions of dollars they have pumped into our anti-Ebola crusade, have offered, through their Ambassador, H.E. Zhang Yue, to help rebuild our healthcare delivery system!Minutes later the Americans, too, came forward and made the identical pledge.  “We will help you rebuild and improve your healthcare delivery system,” they told President Sirleaf.What have these pledges to do with donor fatigue?  Everything!  With people at our doorsteps willing to help us plant clinics, health centers and hospitals throughout our country, you surely do not expect them to develop our roadmap.  We have got to do it ourselves, and do so with urgency, before another outbreak occurs in another part of the world and the donors flee Liberia!That, Madam President, is the reason for our disappointment with your Annual Message. And mark you, the Chinese, Americans, and everyone else know that planting clinics and hospitals around the country is not enough—they have to be equipped and staffed.  But staffed by whom, since so many of our doctors, nurses and paramedics have fled the country since the 1980 coup and the war?  A critical part of that roadmap we are talking about includes training, training of nurses, paramedics and doctors, with specialization in every possible area, including heart, kidney, lung, liver and prostate surgery; dialysis, orthopedic and foot surgery, pathology, radiology and all the other specializations.  The Chinese, Americans, European Union, the Indians and all the other partners know the importance of training.  But they need a roadmap of our priorities.Please, Madam President, get together with your Health Team and the University of Liberia’s Medical College and the West African Graduate Medical College, plan the roadmap and submit it to our partners, telling them what part we can  play and what we expect of them. When this is done, we think Liberia will be on her way to developing a credible healthcare delivery system that will keep Ebola and any other pandemic at bay.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger retires from international football

first_img1 Manchester United star Bastian Schweinsteiger has announced his retirement from international football.Three weeks after Germany were knocked out of Euro 2016 following a semi-final loss to France, the Manchester United midfielder has said he is stepping down as captain of the national team and ending his international playing career.The 31-year-old said on his Twitter page: “Dear fans of the Germany national team. I have just asked the national team coach not to consider me any more for his national team selections in future since I would like to retire.”Schweinsteiger, whose final game for Joachim Low’s team was the 2-0 defeat to France, was capped 120 times by his country and scored 24 goals.He became captain after Philipp Lahm retired following the 2014 World Cup, which he won as vice-captain.His record with Germany, for whom he debuted in June 2004 in a 2-0 defeat to Hungary, reads 81 wins, 19 draws and 20 defeats.His international CV includes two third-place World Cup finishes and a runners-up spot at the 2008 European Championship and he reached the semi-final of every major tournament he was involved in.He added: “My thanks go to the fans, the team, the DFB (German Football Association), the coaches and the Germany national team.“I was able to run out 120 times for my country and experience moments which were indescribably beautiful and successful.“Jogi Low knew how much Euro 2016 in France meant to me because I desperately wanted to win this title, which we have not been able to bring back to Germany since 1996.“It wasn’t to be and I have to accept this.“By winning the 2014 World Cup, we did something historic and also achieved something emotionally which will never be repeated again in my career.“Therefore it is only right and sensible to call it a day now and wish the team all the best for qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, and for the final tournament.“With this retirement, I am leaving the national team which has always been a valuable family to me. I hope that this bond will remain in one form or another.“To finish with, I would like to say to the fans ‘it was an honour to be able to play for you, many thanks for everything I was able to experience with you!’ Yours, Bastian Schweinsteiger.” German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger lifts the World Cup in 2014 last_img read more

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