On Saturday, April 24, Ambassador Michael McCarthy delivered the keynote address at the Liberia Medical Students’ Association (LMSA) 48th Inauguration Ceremony. The event took place at the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine (AMDCM). He was joined by University of Liberia President Dr. Julius Nelson, Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Bernice Dahn, AMCDCM Dean Dr. Lawrence Sherman, LMSA President Diafei Giddings, and others.
Ambassador McCarthy expressed his appreciation for being able to address the next generation of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals preparing to serve Liberia, adding “I applaud you on your choice of career, which you elected knowing the hard work, responsibility, and dedication that would be required.” He also noted the long history of Liberian medical practitioners impacting the profession, “Be inspired by some of your compatriots who have blazed the path of medicine before you, to better the condition of humanity.”
The U.S. Embassy Monrovia hosts a number of U.S. health agencies working alongside Liberian medical practitioners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Ambassador McCarthy noted, “Medicine is about partnerships at the local, county, national, and global levels … Our partnerships have been instrumental in the fight against Ebola and have been critical to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Finally, Ambassador McCarthy quoted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who in reference to fighting COVID-19, said that “none of us is effectively safe until everyone in the world is vaccinated.” The U.S. Government and our international partners are working to distribute millions of doses of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines to countries all over the world. Liberia received nearly 100,00 vaccines through COVAX, of which the U.S. Government is the largest donor, and Ambassador McCarthy applauded the Ministry of Health in beginning their vaccine campaign. He called on the audience to do their part in this effort: “As medical professionals, you have a duty to help your community members understand how vaccines work and to correct misinformation about them when you hear it. We all want the world to get back to the way it was before the pandemic … Accomplishing this goal will be a significant challenge, but achieving greatness takes hard work, dedication, and integrity. Just like graduating from medical school!”