Transcript for Liberian Hospital Suffers in Wartime
Liberia's people are overwhelmingly young. Over 40% of them under fourteen the result of the bloody civil war that nearly wiped out a whole generation. The war also left the country was virtually no doctors just one for every 100000 people. In the US -- numbers closer to one for every 200 people. Not surprisingly the rate of infant death is half we're following a team of American doctors. Determined. To change that. Liberia is a country trying to learn how to live again. A fourteen year civil war of extraordinary violence nearly destroyed this place. Teenage soldiers given drugs by their commanders. Rape torture even claims of cannibalism abounded and at the time of war ended in 2003. A quarter of -- million liberians were dead. Most of the country was in shambles. Including the JFK hospital. Or until just a few years ago there was no electricity or running water. Emergency room is functioning again with the help of American doctors like -- -- His littlest -- this day -- month cold hearted we've been rushed to the hospital by his mother struggling for every breath. Unable to do that kind of test -- do at home and is not quite sure what's wrong with cartoon would -- in the ER just a month before. Hey can match your question has -- on the PGR. One Reese what he does have his cell phone. He calls back to states to talk the last part doctor drew obscene cartoons -- -- if this is part there. Andy decides to give the baby medication for what he believes is a congenital heart defect I think were -- there. But I teach -- surgery surgery and is not available anywhere in Liberia. Andy has the grim task of telling -- his mother what her big lose. Something he can't provide. It's frustrating for me because I know they -- -- XYZ. You know intervention of tests or whatever I can do more for the child. In that is part of practicing medicine here. Coming to terms. With what you can't. How many kids -- the last time you hear. And I was here for like six weeks and -- Fifteen or eighteen children that is you know we don't see that at -- -- -- -- very difficult for me and there is some sense that. Among the staff from the doctors that they're kind of used to it because they are able to do anything to to turning things around. So part of what they're doing -- in says is teaching stuff here to expect more you know we that we always have -- -- -- CIA this is Africa. But he noted the humility CIA it is is that it actually you know it it is almost as if you know just trying to get things done trying to help -- -- -- -- -- You know someone -- broken -- -- simple things. And so we're working on just a basic necessities so well -- high tech expertise. Not sign a letter to. It is left to test the -- -- severely malnourished. The lack of resources means diagnosing patients like miracle Johnson. Sometimes requires going back to basics this is a four month old baby. Nineteen week we found a way since -- really understand okay that was in nineteen and we why -- -- The answer he thinks is TV. Something rarely seen in the US you have to give adds to questions -- understand. What's going on in the summer and liking and victorians. Phone comes in handy as well. It's -- pass it around. There is no light box to look at miracle Johnson's X rays. But his cell phone -- passed around during round so next time the staff will know what the TVX ray looks like. It's hard to see so many sick children. 10% of all the babies born in Liberia won't make it to their first birthday. Many die from malaria. As many as half the people in this country have the devastating disease at -- time. Whereas the worst thing and -- completely this riots and normal healthy days. Can -- really scary to take some getting used to. How many more removed sometimes an infant care here it's a more intimate thing at at home you -- a lot to sub specialists or CT -- -- like a lot of other things so when you when things -- wrong here if it's it's getting more emotional. And the other end -- the hospital things are going wrong. This woman is in the final stage of labor. But the baby won't calm. Stock in the life and positions. Without an emergency C section the child who survived. So that Russia to the hospitals only functional operating room. She's one of the lucky ones Liberia has one of the worst maternal death rates in the world in part because they were so few places like this. Within minutes. -- the meets the world. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- An awful lot of people. Back home in the US look at Africa is just a series of analysts -- insurmountable -- show and it's always good. It's always good people always going to be struggling and dying breath yes. The environment and -- that different but you know the individuals -- they wanna live. They have hope imaging -- an inspiration just like anybody else. Little holes in the next morning I -- -- to help me find BB fined. -- passion for his -- Emotional moment. Realizing that without this hospital this beautiful baby girl. Wouldn't be here. I just don't you come out of your -- yesterday. It had it right I think your first film -- Okay. It. Wrapped up -- her blanket -- the promise of a new generation of liberians. Who might yet healed the wounds of war. Born in -- hospital finding its way back from the brink. With the help of some doctors there -- far from home.
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