Following the death of newborn conjoined twins in Lofa County, in Liberia‘s far north, at the weekend, there has been an outpouring of emotion on social media.
The infants, whose names have not been released, were born with their chests and stomachs attached. The presidency had directed that they be transported from the rural region to Monrovia, the capital city, for surgery.
However, as many people have commented online, healthcare delivery in Monrovia is not much better.
“Sad! The mother enduring the pain from the surgery and now their passing. Sad,” Isaac Garyeazon Redd, a senior manager at the state-run Liberia Broadcasting System, said in a Facebook post on Monday.
Yusuf Mafin Sherif blamed the deaths on Liberia’s “broken medical system”.
Onesimus Leigh wrote: “I wasn’t expecting them to survive in Liberia that is far behind medically; thus, [it] isn’t a surprise to me.”
But Boakai Fofana, an assistant minister at the Ministry of Information, wrote: “The separation of conjoined twins isn’t done just anywhere or at any facility.”
He added that; “even advanced countries send these cases to specialist hospitals.”
Since the end of the country’s civil war nearly 20 years ago, Liberia’s health sector has been under-equipped, under-funded, and understaffed.
Healthcare workers, who are among the lowest-paid, frequently go on strike before their delayed salaries are addressed.
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