MAF flights are providing a vital link to isolated areas of Liberia for an organization helping to transform healthcare across the West African nation.
Dr Sterman Toussaint says air travel is essential for transporting patients and samples for testing between JJ Dossen Hospital in Harper, in Liberia’s southeast, and the capital Monrovia.
“Mission Aviation Fellowship flights not only help with referring patients to Monrovia and transporting specimens to Harper, but also adds a touch of enjoyment, as pilots offer prayers before each flight. With the support of MAF, the light of hope can continue to shine in the realm of healthcare in Liberia,” says Dr Toussaint.
“MAF plays a key role in Partners in Health's work in rural areas, extending their reach and capabilities. Through the partnership with MAF, PIH can go above and beyond their expectations. MAF's involvement facilitates swift access to patient’s test results.”
Partners in Health works closely with the Ministry of Health in Liberia to support lasting improvements in healthcare. The organisation focuses on the “five S” - Staff, Stuff, Space, System and Social Support.
The organization provides essential care, training materials, medications, staff, technicians, and education to the remotest areas, ensuring that quality services are delivered, and local students are trained for the future.
Dr Toussaint, a general surgeon, is PIH Liberia's director of clinical services and director of medical education. He said that without the support of MAF, this training for the next generation of health professionals would not be possible.
“The geographical distance from the patients is bridged with the assistance of MAF flights, which transport specimens three times a week to Monrovia for testing. Some of the necessary equipment for these operations are fragile and cannot be transported on the challenging roads of Liberia,” says Dr Toussaint.
PIH is not just an NGO; it is a social justice and global health organization that believes in health as a fundamental human right and actively advocates.
The challenges faced by PIH in accessing remote communities are predominantly related to the condition of the roads, particularly during the rainy season, and the availability of life-saving medications.
Dr. Toussaint said, PIH believes in the power of partnerships, where medications are timely, and patients' lives are saved to support specialized care is needed in the southeast of Liberia.
In Liberia, MAF flies roughly 750kg of cargo for Partners in Health each month.
“MAF flights significantly aid PIH by transporting health workers, doctors, patients, medical equipment, and drugs swiftly from Monrovia to Harper. This hour-long journey enhances PIH's effectiveness in serving rural areas,” says Martin Blayon, the Warehouse Officer at Partners in Health.
Blayon said, “The support provided by MAF flights is enormous.’’ Up to two hundred pieces of health equipment are regularly transferred to Harper.
Among the essential items transported to the hospital in Harper are Paracetamol, pain relief medications, and electrical appliances, all these things listed are used at the JJ Dossen Hospital in Harper, Maryland county.