Medical Capacity Building in Liberia

14 June 2021

Canadian team member Ms. Annick Sylvestre, on secondment to Mercy Ships part of the Country Engagement Team (CET) – Operations Liaison, provides an update on Mercy Ships recent medical capacity building work in Liberia.

Through the Africa Mercy had to depart Africa in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercy Ships partnerships and programs have continued, running a range of training and capacity building programs this year on the continent.

Mental Health Training in May

The medical capacity building included training:

  • Thirty-seven individuals (primarily healthcare workers/mental health clinicians/social workers in Monrovia) in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
  • Forty-six spiritual leaders (Catholic and Evangelical) in Gbarnga in Bong County for a week with two partners.
  • Twenty people, including healthcare workers, police, spiritual leaders and bailiffs, participated in the training in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

The mental health training uses Dr. Lyn’s book called The Understanding People, Mental Health, and Trauma (UPMHT) throughout the training.

Mercy Ships received the following endorsement from a partner following the mental health training that was delivered in Gbarnga, Liberia:

I feel highly honoured to say some words of such a powerful mastermind book for humanity by Dr. Lyn Westman, who upon meeting her continues to be for me a ‘contagiously’ good encounter still wonderfully unfolding. The Understanding People, Mental Health, and Trauma (UPMHT) is a must ‘experience’ book, especially for persons interested in helping relationships. It proves easy to read, to learn and to apply in one’s life and others. It forms a solid bridge linking intellectual knowing and practical knowing. UPMHT is an amazingly powerful pedagogical tool that incarnates the reality of mental health and trauma to the level of every person – regardless of the individual’s origin, age, sex, race, culture, religion, tradition, status, etc.  I am highly grateful to God to have met Dr. Lyn Westman and honoured to have experienced this book through her tutorship. Anyone searching for a clear, down-to-earth, and a real blend of knowledge, experience and wisdom book about helping self and/or others live a better and flourishing life in this our fallen world, I highly recommend you consider this book.

Biomedical Training on Anesthesia Machines

After receiving a request from our governmental partner, Mercy Ships received and shipped eight anesthesia machines with monitors and training tools. Mercy Ships will train 18 biomedical technicians in three blocks of two days on those machines (six per group). We were also ensuring that healthcare workers who will use the equipment know how to use them.

There will be an eight-week Biomedical Technician Training for the first nine participants in two blocks: 21 June – 16 July and 26 July – 20 August. There will then be a second training program for the final nine participants that is scheduled to start in September 2021.

Visiting Healthcare Professional

We are preparing to welcome an otolaryngologist (ENT) surgeon. There is no ENT surgeon in Liberia – as you can imagine, there is a great need, and we are very much looking forward to getting started! Our ENT surgeon will be mentoring general surgeons and providing surgeries at local facilities.

Learn more about the Medical Capacity Building Program >>