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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Liberia: mission ransacked; hospital makes desperate appeal for aid
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¬†The mission of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary in Monrovia was attacked three times on Monday night, the Missionary News Service learnt today. A group of armed men broke into and ransacked buildings in the complex managed by the religious congregation. The three sisters who run the mission, two US citizens and one Mexican, were unharmed, but are now living in the hospital where they work. The missionaries of Mary is one of the main missionary institutes in Liberia, working especially in health, and training health workers. Elsewhere in Monrovia, St Joseph's hospital has no water, water, electricity, food or medicines. Father JosŤ Antonio Soria, of the Order of St. John of God, (also known as the Fatebenefratelli) said in a message quoted by MISNA: "We have no choice but to discharge patients with less serious complaints to cope with the emergency." Fr Soria said the hospital has become a centre for thousands of people fleeing the fighting. He said: "There are no medicines: no drips, no antibiotics, no penicillin, no blood transfusion bags and no surgical instruments." The heavy attack on Monrovia by the rebels of LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) in recent days is making moving in the city extremely difficult, he said. "It is possible to get around only by ambulance. Even the sick and wounded who are overcrowding the hospital are having problems getting here, which makes attending to them difficult. The hospital faces the sea: it has 140 beds, which become 200 in emergencies; these always coincide with armed conflict," he said. Of the 80 registered doctors in Liberia, only 26 are currently working at full capacity and they are operating in "extreme" conditions. "The catchment area is vast," Fr Soria said. "Of three million Liberians, over one million are in Monrovia, and they are concentrated in the south of the city, which is also seeing an influx of refugees from Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. Used to a population of 350,000 inhabitants, Monrovia is now overcrowded and its services, which have always been inadequate, are unable to meet the need. Schools, churches, shops have been occupied by refugees who are utterly dispossessed: children reach hospital with severe malnutrition and anaemia, pneumonia, malaria, and often we have to assign three to one bed through lack of space." Source MISNA
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