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Liberia

marco garofalo

Médecins Sans Frontières runs a paediatric hospital in the Liberian capital, offering specialised care, including surgery, and supports health centres to make psychiatric treatment more accessible at community level.

Key medical figures:

  • 5,360 people admitted to hospital, including 1,430 children in inpatient feeding programmes
  • 3,500 people treated for malaria
  • 740 major surgical interventions

We opened Bardnesville Junction Hospital in Monrovia in 2015 to provide specialised care for children as the Liberian health system came under severe strain during the West African Ebola outbreak.

Serving children between one month and 15 years old, the hospital receives some of the most critical paediatric cases from a large urban area of approximately one million people. In 2018, we admitted around 100 patients a week with conditions such as malaria, severe acute malnutrition, non-bloody diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections. The hospital has an emergency room, an intensive care unit, a paediatric ward and a nutrition ward, and is a certified clinical teaching site for Liberian nursing students. 

We opened a paediatric surgery programme at Bardnesville in January and performed 735 procedures during the year, including emergency interventions and common operations such as paediatric hernia repairs. Towards the end of the year, we built a second operating theatre to perform additional, subspecialised procedures not widely available in Liberia, such as reconstructive plastic surgery.

We also expanded our innovative mental health and epilepsy care programme around Monrovia, in Montserrado County. Building on a model established by the World Health Organization to make psychiatric care available at community level, we worked with the county health authorities to provide training, supervision and medication for staff in four primary health centres to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, as well as epilepsy. Teams of health volunteers and counsellors identified patients in their communities, supported their treatment at home and raised awareness about mental illness.