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Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a pediatric hospital in the Liberian capital, offering specialized care, including surgery, and supports health centers to make psychiatric treatment more accessible at the community level.
We opened Bardnesville Junction Hospital in Monrovia in 2015 to provide specialized care for children as the Liberian health system came under severe strain during the West African Ebola outbreak.
Serving children between one month and 15 years old, the hospital receives some of the most critical pediatric cases from a large urban area of approximately one million people. In 2018, we admitted around 100 patients a week with conditions such as malaria, severe acute malnutrition, non-bloody diarrhea, and respiratory tract infections. The hospital has an emergency room, an intensive care unit, a pediatric ward, and a nutrition ward, and is a certified clinical teaching site for Liberian nursing students.
We opened a pediatric surgery program at Bardnesville in January and performed 735 procedures during the year, including emergency interventions and common operations, such as, pediatric hernia repairs. Towards the end of the year, we built a second operating theater to perform additional, subspecialized procedures not widely available in Liberia, such as, reconstructive plastic surgery.
We also expanded our innovative mental health and epilepsy care program around Monrovia, in Montserrado County. Building on a model established by the World Health Organization to make psychiatric care available at the community level, we worked with the county health authorities to provide training, supervision, and medication for staff in four primary health centers to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia, as well as epilepsy. Teams of health volunteers and counselors identified patients in their communities, supported their treatment at home, and raised awareness about mental illness.