Today LiveMD would like to congratulate the country of Liberia and its people on 169 years of independence.
Liberia is a country located on the west coast of Africa. Liberia’s founding inhabitants were freed slaves from America and the Caribbean and on July 26th, 1847, declared themselves an independent nation, free from the American Colonization Society, who previously ruled the land.
Overview of Liberia’s Health Statistics
Liberia has a population of close to 4.5 million people. It is a country that has suffered greatly from war and poverty but after 13 years of peace, the people of the country are working towards overall stability, growth and advancement. The average life expectancy of the Liberian people is 63 years of age and lack of effective health care throughout the country is a major concern. There are approximately only 5,000 health workers and under 100 doctors to service most of the population. Most of the clinics and hospitals throughout the country were demolished or made unsafe from the previous conflict and war in the country and because of this millions of people are suffering and left without proper care. Since the end of the war in 2003, Liberia has received a great deal of foreign aid while they attempt to regain their footing and build up their health care sector again. They are also working on implementing a more effective immunization program.
Predominant Health Concerns Affecting the People of Liberia
Ebola – Although currently under control, Liberia has experienced flare-ups of Ebola in recent years. These flare-ups keep the country and it’s healthcare workers on high alert to prevent any possible future epidemics of this disease. Ebola is a highly contagious disease with severe and often fatal outcomes. It is spread by the bodily fluids of someone who is infected and causes symptoms similar to those of the flu along with unexplained bruising and bleeding.
Malaria – Liberia is another country that still struggles with the problem of high rates of malaria infection. It is estimated that close to 33 percent of all deaths in Liberia are due to malaria and this disease accounts for 41 percent of deaths in children. One report, by Unicef, states that the average Liberian child, under 5 years of age, will experience Malaria twice per year. There have been many advancements made in decreasing the number of episodes of malaria, such as providing bed nets to all households throughout the county, but more needs to be done to further protect the people of this country from this disease.
Malnutrition – Liberia is considered one of the poorest countries in the world and it is estimated that close to 75% of the country’s population lives on less than $1 a day. Due to this high poverty rate, there is also a very high rate of malnutrition. Close to 40% of children experience the effects of stunted growth and close to 7% of the population are considered severely malnourished or starving. Again, the government is making advancements to help treat this problem and to educate the people about proper nutrition and its importance but until poverty levels decrease and nutritious food is made more available, many in the country will continue to suffer.
Mental Health Issues – After 14 years of war and unrest many of Liberia’s people suffer the consequences of these traumatic events. Many people are fighting severe depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or other mental illnesses. The country’s lack of proper healthcare and limited access to mental health workers has left many people to suffer alone and in silence.
Since the end of war in Liberia, this country has been making attempts to better the health and lives of its inhabitants. Much more work needs to be done to bring a higher level of care and standard of living to all of the people of Liberia but steps are being taken in the right direction.
On this day, LiveMD would like to say congratulations on 169 years of Independence to everyone in Liberia! Take this day to celebrate how far you have come as a nation and look to the future to see what great things it will hold for you!
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