US Embassy Donates Medical Consignment To MOH

The Ministry of Health has received huge medical consignment from the government and people of the United States of America, through USAID Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance to boost Liberia’s COVID-19 testing at the Standard Testing Lab.

Receiving the donation on behalf of the government of Liberia on Thursday, March 11, 2021, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said standing together side-by-side in time of pandemic is the best remedy in tackling any global pandemic.

“On behalf of the President, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, our NPHIL boss Jane Macaulay and our entire Lab pillar, we want to say a big thank you; because maybe a lot of Liberians don’t know here in Liberia we have robots that can collect and analyze the simple before it goes into the testing machine,” Dr. Jallah disclosed.

In order to carryout rapid testing, according to her, the US government provided robots to the Liberian government, which is being used for testing in the country, saying “if you didn’t know that we have robots in Liberia, we have them here—so it is for the public knowledge.

These robots can do the work faster than human; hence, their testing is more accurate than human”.

Dr. Jallah, who expressed delight over the consignment, said the donation came at the time when the Ministry was running short of such materials; thereby, lauding the US Embassy for its timely intervention.

Earlier, while handing the consignment over to the Ministry, US
Ambassador to Liberia, Michael A. McCarthy, said he was honored to represent the people of the United States of America who are willingness to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Dr. Jallah, as she works so hard to provide service delivery in the health sector across the country.

“And as she struggles to battle this pandemic, we are very delighted and humble to be standing within her struggle, and we are delighted to step in with these testing equipment—and the beauty of these things is that it is more accurate.” Amb. McCarthy averred.

For her part, Ellen Munemo, USAID Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance Team Lead, said the consignment presented will be used in the laboratory for extracting out virus from affected persons.

“So what we just handed over is an automated extracted kids that can be used in the Lab of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) to extract the RNA material—a virus particle—which will then detect a fluid that a person is COVID-19 or not”, Munemo disclosed.

The monetary value of the consignment is put at one hundred-twenty thousand United States dollars (US$120,000.00).      

 Signed: _________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

          Director of Communication, MOH

GoL Unveils DNA Machine

The government of the republic Liberia on March 8, 2021 unveiled Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing Machine, which will bring relief to rape survivals and justice for sexual gender based violence victims. It is in fulfilment of promise made by the government through H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, to present a DNA testing machine to the people of Liberia to address issues of SGBV in the Country.

Unveiling the machine at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Liberia’s President, George Manneh Weah, said the measures to tackle rape or scourge was the acquisition of a ‘DNA testing machine which is now a reality today’.

“Today is a new beginning and it will begin our journey to revolutionize rape investigation in the Country”, said Liberia’s feminist in Chief, George Weah.

According to him the new technology will have a passionate impact on the way in which rape Cases are investigated in Liberia.

Speaking Monday at programs marking International Women’s Day, the Liberian leader used the occasion to urged health workers to handle the new equipment with care in order to provide the requisite health services to women and children of Liberia.

He said women are special, adorable, fantastic among others as such they deserve to be provided equal opportunity for self-empowerment and was also quick to encourage them to unite and be very strong for the common good of society.

President Weah addressing a cross session of women at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town promised the gathering as Liberia’s feminist in Chief that his government will exert every effort to directly address issues faced by women in the Country.

He said the provision of the DNA testing machine Monday came as a result of the 2020 conference on Sexual Gender Based Violence which also led to the establishment of the Anti SGBV task force.

The conference among other things highlighted the National Road Map on Rape and other forms of SGBV cases in Liberia.

Speaking on the National theme: Women in leadership breaking down barriers in the dispensation of the COVID-19 war, President George Weah said as a Country and people, he remains thankful to women for their resilience and commitment in their various tasks, duties as leaders to both public, private spaces and in their respective homes.

Dr. Weah acknowledged through his government that women continued to need more empowerment and it is his responsibility to institute, implement all measures and policies to promote such empowerment.

Meanwhile, the annual ceremony held globally on March 8, is among other necessities intended to celebrate women’s accomplishments as well as to be champions of change and inspiration for future generations.

Earlier, Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah lavished praises on President Weah for providing Women the space to serve in his government.

Dr. Jallah, who is consistently and cautiously fighting to contain the spread of this global pandemic, Coronavirus, through her altruistic leadership role since the outbreak of the virus, said she’s honored to have been selected amongst many across the country to serve as head of the Country’s health sector, mainly during these difficult times.

“It is an honored as a woman to be selected amongst many in our country to serve as the Minister of Minister. However, what we are now looking forward to seeing at the Ministry is to increase the number of women serving in key positions. Although we have few of them in some of these positions but an increase number at every level—including the counties’ levels—is our goal in seeking female compete with their male counterparts”, Dr. Jallah told the gathering when she took the podium to address issues on women’s empowerment and their challenges. The Minister then used the occasion to call on all Liberian to continually follow all preventive health measures mandated by the Ministry of Health, NPHIL and its partners, as they strive in doing everything possible in the fight against COVID-19

First COVAX Shipment Arrives in Liberia

The government of Liberia through Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and Foreign Minister, H.E. Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., on Friday, March 5, 2021, received first the shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

The 96,000 doses received is part of 384,000 doses that are expected to be delivered to Liberia through the COVAX Facility soon.

Receiving the consignments, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, lauded the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Government, the COVAX Facility, including other partners in ensuring that Liberia becomes a recipient of the COVAX Vaccine.

Minister Jallah said the consignment of COVAX Vaccine is very important to the government of Liberia’s continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

She noted that the government attaches great importance to the protection of its citizens, especially with the arrival of the COVAX Vaccine.

The Health Minister said the ministry has already begun receiving calls from Liberians who are willing to take the COVAX Vaccine, saying “this must be echo across the country.”

The Vaccines were presented to the Government of Liberia by the Country Representative of the World Health Organization to Liberia, Dr. Peter Clements, and Mr. Samuel Mawunganidze, UNICEF Deputy Representative for Programme.

Making remarks on behalf of the government and people of Liberia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dee Maxwell Kemayah, extended gratitude to the international partners through whom Liberia has benefited from COVAX Facility.

Minister Kemayah said the government is thrilled with the initial 96,000 doses of the COVID-19 Vaccines, which he believed will further upsurge Liberia’s preparedness in continuation of its fight against the Virus.

He assumed the partners of Liberia’s eagerness to ensuring that no stone is left unturned in adherence to all health protocols and preventive measures prescribed by health authorities.

Also, in remarks was US Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Michael McCarthy, who expressed US’ willingness to supporting Liberia’s fight against the virus.

“The United States is committed to working with partners across the globe to end the devastating public health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ambassador McCarthy disclosed.

With this, he added that President Joe Biden announced $4 billion in funding to support the international vaccine initiative COVAX, which facilitates procurement and equitable global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, including 92 low- and middle-income economies supported through the COVAX Advanced Markets Commitment. 

Speaking further, the American Ambassador stated, “This contribution makes the United States the single largest contributor to the international response to COVID-19 and builds on decades of U.S. investments in global health, health security, and global health organizations, as well as demonstrating the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better by strengthening multilateral cooperation on the response and advancing global health. “we encourage other countries to make and fulfill concrete commitments to COVAX and to support expanding vaccine manufacturing and distribution to help end this pandemic and ensure future preparedness.”

The US Ambassador congratulated the Government of Liberia on her continued commitment to reducing the transmission and halting the spread of COVID-19 in Liberia and in the region.

“Liberia’s successful fight against COVID-19 to date takes a critical leap forward with the arrival of vaccines to protect health care workers and the most vulnerable from this terrible disease. But the work doesn’t stop here. We hope Liberians will take the opportunity to receive safe and effective vaccines if offered.  And, as always, we remind everyone to continue to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, stay two arms-length apart in public, and seek treatment if you feel sick.  Together we can put an end to this pandemic,” Ambassador McCarthy stressed.

According to the U.S. Ambassador, the American Government has provided an initial tranche of $2 billion to COVAX and will provide the additional funding through 2022, disclosing “We will also work with other donors to make further pledges and commitments to meet the initiative’s critical needs.  We are committed to working with partners and governments to support global COVID-19 vaccination efforts, with a focus on vaccinating vulnerable populations.”

Outlining efforts made by the US Government, Ambassador McCarthy intimated that for the last 60 years the U.S. Government has been working with Liberia’s health sector as a partner to strengthen services and build capacity; the U.S. Government provided $2.3 million to Liberia’s COVID-19 response; USAID supported risk communications, county-level coordination and response, cash transfers, hospitals and treatment facilities, and overall safety nets for the most vulnerable; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to provide critical technical assistance to strengthen contract tracing, surveillance, and laboratory activities; and the U.S. Department of Defense coordinated the transfer of personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and medical equipment, respectfully.

The turning over ceremony was witnessed by several dignitaries to include the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Niels Scott, the Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU), Laurent Delahousse, the Ambassadors of France, Michaël Roux, Germany, Hubert Jäger, United Kingdom, Neil Bradley, and the United States, Michael A. McCarthy, as well as the Chargé d’Affaires of Ireland, Kate O’Donnell, Rep. Joseph N. Somwarbi, Chairman on Health, House of Representative, and other representatives of multilateral agencies and the colorful representation of the fourth estate  .

Signed: ____________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication

MOH Concludes Nationwide Tour in Five Counties

Liberian Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and team of experts at the Ministry have concluded first phase of a nationwide tour in five (5) counties, including Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, and Maryland Counties.

Dr. Jallah alongside Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh; Deputy Minister for Planning and Policy, A. Varfee Tulay; County Health Services Director, Lorene Cooper; Family Health Division Director, Bentoe Z. Tehoungue, among others, jointly commissioned discussions with visited health facilities in those five counties.

The tour, which started from February 12 to 28, 2021, is part of the Ministers annual assessment and acquaintance exercise aimed at identifying progresses, challenges and difficulties confronting health practitioners, as well as find ways forward for improvement.

Among other things, it is also geared towards the Minister’s interpersonal interaction with patients at various health facilities and rendering of humanitarian gestures during these visits. It is meant to review progresses and successes made in past years at both national and counties’ level and to also galvanize strategies to form a comprehensive and progressive national health plans for engagement.

About 1,800 CHS, CHSA, etc., were engaged by the Minister and her team, who shared their respective experiences and made recommendations to the team.

Fortunately, the energetic and passionate of Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah’s annual counties tour coincided with the President of the republic of Liberia, H.E. DR. George Manneh Weah’s strategic nationwide just ended tour.

 The Dr. Jallah and team ably assisted by Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Francis Kateh joined President Weah’s engagements with health workers, relocation of the G. W. Hardley Hospital in Sanniquellie, extension of the VIP annex of Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County, and ground breaking ceremonies of a modern referral Hospital in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh, and Pleebo Health Center, Maryland Counties, among others.

Meanwhile, the referral hospital to be constructed in Zwedru, is a project with support from the German Government which in line with pillar one of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development—it highlights the improvement of health service delivery and infrastructure development.

Making special remarks at the occasion, President George Manneh Weah lauded his German counterpart for such a huge support and investment to Liberia, especially the health sector.

He assured the German Government of Liberia’s unending cooperation in a move to further strengthen the ties already sustenance between the two countries.

The Liberian Leader meanwhile encouraged the citizens of Grand Gedeh County to continue to keep the peace because it was as a result of the peace which they are now enjoying that led to the implementation of such meaningful health project for them.

Also speaking at the program was Liberia’s Chief Medical Office (CMO), Dr Francis Kateh who thanked the German Government and collaborating partners for ensuring the realization of the project.

Dr. Kateh said, with the level of works being done in the Health sector, the sector is on path in meeting global health goal, saying “The health sector is moving in the right direction and we are happy and with more support and collaboration it will get better and bigger soon.”

However, the project is also in line with the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) pillar three among other things highlight good health and well-being for all, will also see Liberia making its contribution of half a million Euros towards its implementation.

The availability and supply of medical equipment as well as the building of capacity for health care workers and technicians will also be covered under the project which is dominantly supported by the German Development Bank, including its implementing partners and the government of Liberia. 

It is expected to serve thousands of residents of Grand Gedeh and the entire southeastern region of the country, inclusive of River Gee, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, and River Cess counties.

However, the phase of the Minister’s tour concluded in Maryland county and the second phase is expected to start very soon.

Signed:__________________________

Felecia Gbesioh

Director of Communication. MOH

“No Ebola In Liberia”

(Monrovia, Liberia, February 26, 2021)—The Health Minister of the republic of Liberia, Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has clarified that there is no case of Ebola presently in the country.

Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah made the clarification Friday, February 26, 2021, during an emergency press briefing at the Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).

The Minister said though there are confirmed death and cases of the virus in neighboring Guinea, but as of today there were eight (8) suspected cases of the virus in the country came back with negative results.

“In Liberia, there were eight (8) alerts that faced the cases examination which they were all tested; they were all negative”, she disclosed

The Minister explained further that recently there were additional two suspected cases of the noxious virus which came back with negative results, again.

“Recently, we received two other alerts of those cases that did not face the cases definition, so we have no case in Liberia. As we stand, as of today, Friday, February 26, 2021, there is no case of Ebola in Liberia”, she emphasized.

On other front, Dr. Jallah told Journalists at the press conference that the global community is still combating the fight against coronavirus pandemic; as such, global togetherness is the remedy to conquering this fight. 

“There are over 112 million plus people that are being infected around the world. The death rate is over 2 million people. In Africa today, 3.8 million people have suffered from COVID-19 and 102000 persons have also lost their lives.

“Presently in Liberia, we have one new case, bringing our total confirmed cases to 2010 confirmed cases; recovery is at 1882; hence, we have no body in treatment unit, but we have people in home base care”, Dr. Jallah explained.

she used the occasion to encourage Liberians to seek their coronavirus test at the COVID-19 testing center located on the Sophia road in Monrovia, in order to know their coronavirus test status. And travelers who are traveling to other countries should observe all health protocols of those countries to avoid future embarrassment.

“We continue our testing at the Union Center on the Sophia road; so we advise, if you are traveling please make sure of the guidelines of the Country you are going to”, she advised

Responding to the Country’s preparedness in combating any pandemic, Dr. Jallah said Liberia had experience from previous outbreaks and lessons learned from those outbreaks prepared the country to combat coronavirus; therefore, all stringent measures have been instituted to face any outbreak.

The Minister was accompanied by the Program Manager on Immunization of the Ministry of Health, Adolphus Clarke, who called citizens and residents of the Country to serve as ambassadors in educating their respective communities on the pending nationwide vaccination exercises.

The Ministry and her partners are expected to carryout vaccination on polio, typhoid, coronavirus and other infectious disease in the length and birth of the Country.

The Ministry is expected to receive the first 384 thousand doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Liberia which will be arriving in the country in the soonest possible time. The coronavirus vaccination will commence two weeks after its arrival to create more education and awareness across the country, according to Manager Clarke.

This vaccination will target greater proportion of the country’s population, beginning with Health Care workers, the executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary branches of government; the Military and para Military, marketers, and wider range of sections of the population between 70 to 75%.

On the other hand, Mr. Clarke told scores of Journalists at the news conference that the vaccination of children between ages of zero to fifty-nine will run from March 12 to 15, targeting 972,870. “For Liberia we are hoping to reach 27039 children”, said the EPI Program Manager.

In conclusion, he said, Typhoid vaccination will run from the 24th to 28th of March, targeting over one million persons throughout the country.

He admonished journalists to initiate the John Baptist’s role in disseminating these vital information relative to the pending vaccination processes. 

Signed: ________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication, MOH, RL