Liberia

Although health services are being progressively restored in Liberia, important gaps persist, notably in specialised paediatric care and mental health.

It is estimated that 10 per cent of people in Liberia suffer from a mild to moderate mental health disorder, and 3 per cent suffer from a severe disorder. Epilepsy is also widespread, as past studies have shown a prevalence between 2.8 and 4.9 per cent. People with these conditions often lack access to treatment and face social stigma that can lead to exclusion from schools or jobs.

We support five health facilities in Montserrado County with diagnosis, treatment and essential medicines for people with mental health conditions and epilepsy. Our teams also supervise health workers in outpatient departments and make hospital referrals when necessary. In addition, we collaborate with psychosocial workers and volunteers to identify patients and work with families and communities to reduce social stigma.

school in Liberia

As part of the epilepsy program in Liberia, the psychosocial team supports schools and schoolteachers to help children with epilepsy return to school. © Carielle Doe

MSF in Liberia

In Liberia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a mental health and epilepsy programme and supports paediatric care in a Ministry of Health facility in the capital, Monrovia.

MSF Liberia map

Our activities in 2022

2660 children admitted to hospital
Highlights of out activities in 2022

We opened our paediatric hospital – Barnesville Junction – in Monrovia in 2015, in the immediate aftermath of the Ebola epidemic. Barnesville Junction was an entirely MSF-run facility, separate from the public health system. From its inception, the intention was to support the Liberian Ministry of Health for a period of five years, to enable it to rebuild its capacity in paediatrics following the devastation caused by the Ebola epidemic.

With this timeframe now at an end, we closed Barnesville Junction and switched our focus to supporting Barnesville healthcare centre, a public health facility, where we provide inpatient paediatric care and staff supervision and training.

Elsewhere in Montserrado county, we continued to run a programme we set up in 2017 to respond to the lack of consultations, diagnosis, treatment and medication for people with mental health and neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, in the country. People with these conditions often face social stigma that can lead to exclusion from schools or jobs.

In 2022, we expanded our cohort of patients through five health facilities and community-based care. We treated all our patients on an outpatient basis, making hospital referrals when necessary. We also coordinated psychosocial workers and health volunteers to work with patients’ families and communities to address social stigma.

Additionally, we responded to measles outbreaks in five counties (Montserrado, Margibi, Sinoe, Nimba and Bomi), providing treatment for children at Barnesville Junction, and supporting the Ministry of Health with measles kits for the treatment of measles cases across the five counties.    

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