The Need

Your expertise and experience can save lives and improve the health of one of the most needy and underserved populations in the world—the Liberian people. A post-conflict country now at peace, Liberia relies on the generosity of foreign physicians who come to serve and practice in a place where they are sorely needed. There is a severe shortage of qualified physicians in Liberia, where there is only one doctor for every 50,000 people. That means the Liberian people have access to only 1% of the per-capita medical expertise Americans enjoy, because in the US, the same ratio is about 1:500.

For want of skilled health care professionals, preventable and treatable diseases lead to very high mortality rates and keep many families trapped in a cycle of poverty. Liberia’s maternal mortality rate, to give just one example, ranks among the worst in Africa and the world, estimated at 994 per 100,000 births.

JFK has benefited from the generosity of international organizations in the rehabilitation of its physical infrastructure, but it continues to lack critical human resources needed to fulfill its mission as Liberia’s national tertiary referral hospital.  As NGO-operated health care institutions close, the burden has shifted to JFK to provide specialized and first-rate care for the Liberian people.

Physicians

3.4 million Liberians look to JFK to provide the highest standard of care, but the hospital is unable to meet their needs without looking abroad to fill the gaps in its medical staff.  In particular, as of June 2010, the hospital lacked a single full-time physician in all of the following specialties:

  • Cardiology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Pediatric Neonatology
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Podiatry
  • Psychiatry
  • Urology

Other areas of urgent need include:

  • OB/GYN
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Radiology

Doctors of all specialties are also in need to supervise and give instruction to Liberian doctors.

Therapists and Technicians

The medical center is in particular need of:

Hospital Administrators

Individuals with training in hospital administration are needed to manage and modernize the operations of a large and growing medical center.

Students

The medical center may be able to host students with training and interest in international health, health care professions, or health systems administration.

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