Updates from Liberia
Dr Ojediran with Dr Harris at the SKD sports Complex for the LCPS’ Annual General and Scientific Meeting.
In Liberia, there are currently only two psychiatrists – Drs Benjamin Harris and Babawale Ojediran – for a population of more than 4 million. This ratio is dramatically low in comparison to the WHO recommendation of one psychiatrist for a population of 10,000. As is the case with most medical schools in West Africa, there is also inadequate mental health training in Liberian medical schools.
Due to these stark statistics, the BMC/BUSM Department of Psychiatry and the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS) have collaborated to create the country’s first Psychiatry Residency Program at the University of Liberia A.M. Dogliotti School of Medicine. The goal of the LCPS Psychiatry Residency Program is to develop an indigenous mental health workforce whereby native practitioners will be able to implement best practices in clinical care, education, and research. With support from the BMC/BUSM and University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, the first psychiatry residency cohort will begin this September with three residents and the program will accept three new residents in each consecutive year.
The Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS) held their Annual General and Scientific Meeting on July 19, 2019 where Dr Benjamin Harris was announced the new President of the LCPS. Under Dr Harris’ leadership, two residents will begin the psychiatry residency program in September 2019 – Drs Taywah M. J Siaffa and Varmuyan Amadu Kromah – and a third family medicine resident who is expected to rotate through psychiatry for 2-3 months. There are also two residents completing their internship this year who are expected to start the psychiatry residency program in 2020.
Dr Ojediran also shared that he has made a donation of two tablets and software to E.S. Grant Mental Health Hospital in an effort to help switch to electronic medical records.
Dr Ojediran with Liberia’s Minister of Health, Dr Wilhelmina Jallah.