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Publication Date

11-30-2015

Article Type

State of Radiology Country Report

Abstract

Liberia is a tropical country located south of the Sahara Desert in coastal West Africa. It lies at 6 °30’ North Latitude and 9° 30’ West Longitude and is bordered by Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and the Atlantic Ocean. Liberia has three distinct topographical areas: 1) coastal plain, creeks, lagoons and mangrove swamps; 2) rolling, forested hills with elevations up to 500 feet that cover most of the country; and 3) low mountains and plateaus in the Northern highlands with elevations reaching 4,748 feet (Nimba Mountains). Liberia is home to approximately four million people and is roughly the size of the US state of Tennessee. Named after former US President James Monroe, Liberia’s capital Monrovia is a coastal city with a population of one million (1).

There are two major seasons in Liberia: dry and rainy. The dry season occurs between December and March, and is is characterized by warm days and cool nights, with risk of sand storms from the Sahara Desert (2). The rainy season occurs between mid-April and mid-November. The average annual rainfall is 200 inches on the coast and decreases to 80 inches in areas farthest inland, and the average temperature is 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) (1). Liberia is a low-income country that relies heavily on foreign aid (3). Liberia is the seventh poorest nation in the world, ranking 31st among 46 sub-Sarahan African countries in national income. In 2013, Liberia’s per capita GDP was $900 US (3). Liberia’s economy depends heavily on natural resources, with mining and agriculture being the dominant industries. Iron exportation has grown and in 2013 overcame rubber as Liberia’s top export. According to the 2013 Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Annual Report, iron ore and rubber represent 82% of Liberia’s total exports (4). Civil war destroyed much of Liberia’s economy, including critical infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Although conditions are favorable for agriculture, Liberia does not produce nearly enough food to meet the demands of its population. The country imports large quantities of food, with rice alone accounting for 10% of its overall imports (5).

Keywords

Liberia, global radiology, diagnostic imaging, diagnostic skills, diagnostic equipment, radiology market, global public health

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