MOH, Partners Conclude National Conference on Newborn Health Nutrition

(June 29, 2022, Paynesville, Monrovia, Liberia)—as part of efforts to reduce maternal newborn health and increase child nutrition, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with its local and international partners on June 29, 2022 concluded a two-day national conference across the nation—the conference was held in each of the 15 political sub-division of the country.

During the conference, participants brainstormed and shared knowledge including challenges as well as reflected on issues, ranging from maternal newborn health and mortality to child health and nutrition services and the dynamics in the provision of quality healthcare delivery in Liberia.

For Montserrado County, the conference was held at the Paynesville Town Hall, from June 28 to 29, 2022, under the theme: “Invest in Maternal Newborn Health and Nutrition, To Reduce Maternal and Newborn Death in Liberia.”

Dr. Jallah during a brief remark, applauded the CHT and local leaders. “This conference is being held across the 15 Counties in Liberia. The entire indicator is multi-sectorial approach, nutrition, child health, pregnancy and all that stimulates health. “Exclusive breastfeeding remains critical, “said Minister Jallah.

She said every health professional has to be responsible in the discharged of their deities because health matters, stressing the need for everyone to go back in their various communities to promote health matters. Dr. Jallah use the occasion to commend the CHO and her team for the level of cooperation thus far.

Dr. Yatta S. Wapoe, County Health Officer of Montserrado County, who made opening remarks at the kickoff, told health workers that the objective of the conference was also aimed at reducing maternal morbidity and mortality (MMR) as well reduce infant morbidity and mortality.

Giving statistics on various health facilities in Montserrado during the conference, Nancy T. Bonner, said the county has the population of approximately 1.4million and it has 374 health facilities. These facilities according to her, play a critical role in reducing maternal newborn health in the health sector.

And out of the number, 62 are public health facilities, while 312 are private owned facilities; of that number, 11 hospitals, while 28 health facilities as well as 335 clinics, as such she told Minister Jallah that the Ministry has lot to do in the county.  

Madam Bonner, however, clarified that Montserrado County has only 5 functional maternal waiting homes that are situated in rural Montserrado, specifically in Todde, St. Paul and Careysburg districts.

Notwithstanding, the conference was also meant to discuss the issues of reducing under 5 morbidity and mortality. According to Dr. Wapoe, the conference focused on promoting adolescent health and nutrition and to control reproductive tract infection and sexually transmitted infections.

At the end of the conference at least five (5) health workers were honored by the Montserrado County Health Team through the Ministry of Health for their service rendered over the years. The awards was however given according to categories, and these honorees include: Mrs. Debbie W. Kwashie, Best Performing Certified Midwifery (CM)-Argthington Clinic, Mary T. Kwiwalazu Best Performing Officer In Charge (OIC) Goba Town Clinic, Beatrice Boimah best performing Vaccinator- Duport Road Health Center, Emily Williams- best performing Community Health Assistant (CHA) – Careysburg, and Francis Cole Traditional Trained Midwifery (TTM) – Johnsonville Clinic.

The event, however, brought together the Montserrado County Health Team (MCHT), Community Health Assistant (CHA), and other health practitioners from Montserrado County.


            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications, MOH/RL                    

MOH Validates 10-Years NCHP Documents

(June 30, 2022 Monrovia, Liberia)—The Ministry of Health (MOH) has begun the validation of a 10-year policy document that aims to reduce infant mortality. 

The goal of the National Community Health Program (NCHP) is to enhance the delivery of quality community health program and to also reduce maternal, neonatal, infant, and adolescent mortality and morbidity in all communities and creating child-friendly communities through disease detection, prevention, and response.

The program is a coordinated, high-quality, government-managed community health care system aimed at contributing to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in which all households should have access to life-saving services and are empowered to mitigate potential public health risks in the community.

This process is intended to criticize the policy documents and make suggestions where necessary, as well as make recommendations for its finalization by the committee response. It further focuses on building consensus and getting stakeholders’ buy-in on the Community Health Program (CHP) policy, aligning the NCHP policy document and reviewing sticky points per thematic areas which will develop a justification for possible inclusion or exclusion in policy areas.

“This process has come a very long way over the last one-year plus, and  the Ministry had a lot of engagements with national, County, districts, and at community, levels to ensure that community health services are provided in a more equitable way in the communities thus improving health care services in Liberia,”

Olasford Wiah, Director of the NCHP.

Olasford Wiah, Director of the NCHP also told participants that going forward the Ministry wants to see different approaches when it comes to community health services across the country.

The policy documents are also intended to strengthen community structures through standardization of identification and orientation processes, which include: creating, training, equipping, incentivizing, supervising, deploying, digitally empowering, supporting, and motivating fit-for-purpose Community Health Workers (CHW).  

Wiah indicated that going forward the Ministry wants to see different approaches when it comes to community health. “For example, the issues of the human resource aspect of the Community health program.

What do we intend to do, and how do we intend to achieve that? The issue of supply chain commodities for community health workers: what are those policies we need to put in place for them to ensure that they do their work effectively and efficiently.”

Wiah, however, clarified that the intent of the validation is not to create something new in the policy documents but to build around what they already have.  “We have Community Health Assistants (CHA) who are carrying on their activities in rural communities and urban cities. We already have Community Health Volunteers (CHV); but these CHV roles are not in a clear direction as compared to CHA; therefore we want to standardize what these CHA’s are doing now so that we don’t have a loophole in the system, as we have been seeing in the urban settings.”

This, he believes, will help Liberia’s health system, adding that the Ministry wants to see one community health policy with two different approaches. “One of the approaches is that we are currently doing the work of the CHA’s in rural communities.  The second approach is to just standardize what the CHV’s in urban cities are doing to address the health needs of the community.”

He said: “We have learned lessons since the inception of this program in 2016. We want to keep the situations engaging as they come out in the health sector.”

Dr. Francis Keteh, Chief Medical Officer, (CMO) stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum of the NCHP to show the development partners that Liberia is appreciative of all of the support over the years and is doing something better to improve the country’s health system.

Keteh sees this as essential to Liberia’s health sector and calls on the national legislature to allocate more funds in the budget to support the program. “We all have to work continuously with the program managers so that at the end of the day we can continue to maintain quality health care service not compromise, but also provide what is needed for us to move forward,” he added.

The ongoing validation process began from June 16 -18, and it brought together health technicians, County Superintendents from Grand Bassa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Margibi, River Gee, Maryland, Grand Kru, Sinoe, River Cess, Lofa Gbapolu, and Bong Counties.


            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications, MOH/RL                    

Midwifery Division To Establish Mini Clinic

(June 23, 2022)-The Nursing and Midwifery Division at the Ministry of Health has embarked on a project aimed at establishing a mini clinic to cater to the first aid need of its employees.

The initiative, according to the Director of Midwifery Division, Diana Sarteh, it is the first of its kind at the Ministry and it will help to address some health issues of employees. 

“It is important to have such a center where employees will come and discus their health. We have taken this time now to establish this center. We don’t have money therefore we thought it was important to solicit your little support to help refurbish the center.

“The Ministry is grateful for initiating this program because we believe that the well-being of our employees is critical,” said Minister Jacob.

Minister George Jacob, who served as the official launcher of the project, acknowledged the role the mini clinic will play at the Ministry. The called on colleagues to take ownership of the project.

“On behalf of the Minister proper and in my own name I would present US$200 as my initial contribution to the project.”


            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications, MOH/RL                    

583,200 Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive In Liberia

(June 1, 2022, RIA, Liberian)—583,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Liberia through the generous donation from the Government of Germany via the COVAX facility.

A global partner to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on June 1, 2022, delivered the vaccines to the Liberian Government through the Ministry.

The vaccines are geared towards enhancing quality health service delivery and boosting immunization across the country.

The Vaccines which arrived via the Roberts International Port on Wednesday Night include Covid-19 Johnson and Johnson, measles and BCG vaccines.

The measles vaccines come at a time the country is experiencing the outbreak of the disease while BCG which protects children against tuberculosis arrived following weeks of being out of stock.

At the arrival ceremony at the RIA, Liberian Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said the covid-19 vaccines donated to Liberia will help the country to reach its target of vaccinating seventy percent of its Population.

“We are happy that our local and international partners continue to cement commitment towards supporting the ongoing combat against the COVID-19 pandemic and diseases across the nation. We are happy that these vaccines have arrived in country to combat those deadly diseases in our country,” Dr. Jallah added.

She also called on parents to take advantage of the measles and BCG Vaccines that are currently in the country: “I want to use this occasion to call on all of our people, especially those who have not been vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic to get vaccinated. At the same time, I want to call on our baby mothers to take advantage of the Measles and BCG vaccines by taking the children to our various health facilities for vaccination”.

Speaking at the ceremony Deputy Head of the German Embassy Peter Speyrer said Germany believes that no one is safe unless everybody is safe, something which triggered his country’s donation to Liberia.

“We are only safe when everyone is safe. That’s why Germany follows a multilateral approach in fighting the pandemic, supporting initiatives such as ACT-A and COVAX”, said Peter Speyrer, Deputy Head of the German Embassy.

However, the Ministry of Health (MOH) through the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) along with its partners are being praised by WHO Regional Officer for Africa (WHO-AFRO) on the tremendous progress in reaching more people with Covid-19 vaccines and currently ranks 7 within the continent. To date, 2, 207, 249 persons have received covid-19 vaccines in Liberia. A total of 3,814,960 doses were received between the period of Mach 5, 2021 and June 1, 2022.

In response to ongoing measles outbreak, a total 103,038 children have been vaccinated between the ages of 9 – 35 months with measles containing vaccines (MCV) across fourteen counties excluding Margibi during phase one of the response intervention. Also, May 31, 2022, the country received 381, 400 doses of MCV in preparation of phase two slated for June 16 – 22, 2022 in all counties. Additionally, to address the issue of stock-out, the country received on June 1, 2022, a total of 110, 000 doses of BCG vaccines.


           Felecia Gbesioh            Director of communication, MOH/RL

Ministry of Health, partners observe World Malaria Day

(May 6, 2022, Paynesville City, Liberia)—In observance of World Malaria Day (WMD), held each year April 25, USAID Health Office Director, Madam Jessica Healey, said Liberia has made significant progress in the previous five years, eradicating malaria.

She spoke at the WMD in-door program held May 6, 2022, in Paynesville, at the City Hall, where she stressed, “malaria deaths have decreased by 67 percent, from 914 in 2007, to 300 in 2021, and [that] the number of confirmed cases has reduced by 15 percent, from over a million to around 900,000.”

Even though she said significant progress has been made in the last five-year, Madam Harley maintains “despite advances, malaria remains Liberia’s most serious public health problem and the leading cause of child fatalities.” 

The USAID Health Office Director said a number of people and caretakers with children do not seek care early when they fall sick, and do not consult the community health assistants, something she said is as a result of many people self-medicate with counterfeit and poor drugs, also failing to acquire mosquito nets during mass distribution programs.

C. Stanford Wesseh, Assistant Minister of Vital Statistics

For his part, C. Stanford Wesseh, Assistant Minister of Vital Statistics who represented the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah recommended that people use mosquito nets to avoid coming down with the killer disease, malaria.

He said, “it has been demonstrated to be cost effective, sleeping under a mosquito net, and [seeking] early medical attention [which] saves money.”

Mr. Wesseh pledged the Ministry’s commitment in ensuring those in hard-to-reach areas have access to mosquito nets and anti-malaria commodities at all facilities, particularly public health facilities, causing patients to seek medical attention and adequate care. 

“As we strive to end malaria we know that in an under-resource country it is very difficult but there are effective interventions that we all can implement to ensure that we end malaria,” he said.

Also, Dr. Moses Jeuronlon, World Health Organization malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV Program Officer said despite a slowed rate of progress in reducing malaria incidences and deaths, as well as the delays by COVID-19, Liberia is much further ahead than it was in 2000. However, he said,” we need to reignite that momentum and build on the recent advances.”

Held under the theme: ‘Advance Equality, Build Resilience, End Malaria”, the WMD began with outdoor festivities on April 25, 2022, supported by USAID Social Behavior Change activity, Breakthrough ACTION Liberia, and partners supporting the Ministry of Health, including: UNICEF, World Health Organization, Last Mile Health, Roll Back Malaria and Plan International.

These initiatives were held as a result of ensuring malaria is eradicated. It began with a month of enormous social mobilization efforts and interagency sports tournament, as well as talk shows on four radio stations, including ELBC, Truth FM, OK FM and ECOWAS.  

The event on May 6, 2022, culminated with a parade from the Ministry of Health premises in Oldest Congo, to the Paynesville City Hall where an indoor program was marked by speeches.

During the parade, officials from the Ministry of Health and partners chanted “Zero Malaria starts with me”.

Malaria according to the World Health Organization, is the greatest cause of disease and deaths in Liberia, accounting for 46.9% of hospital outpatients in 2020. The condition is especially likely to affect children and pregnant women, prompting much attention around malaria interventions.

Signed: _____________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications

Ministry of Health pays tribute to former Minister of Health

(May 12, 2022, Congo Town, Liberia)—Health workers across the Country were seen pouring fond words on former Health Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, who died at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center following a protracted period of illness.

The health workers said the late Dr. Gwenigale would forever be remembered for his incredible contribution to a health reform process that positioned the country’s system among the best in the Sub-region.

The health workers made the remarks Thursday, May 12, 2022, when an array of local and international partners as well as staff of the Ministry received the body of the late Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale at the Ministry’s compound in Congo Town.

At the emotionally charged ceremony, Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Health, Hon. Norwu G. Howard, who paid tributes on behalf of the Ministry, prayed and asked God Almighty to embrace the fallen Minister with tender love and grant him eternal life saying, “In your hands, oh Lord, we humbly entrust our father Dr. G”.

Minister Howard said the late Dr. Gwenigale served like a father to her when her late father was killed during the Liberian civil war: “Dr. G, you will forever remain in our hearts for the care you showed after the death of our late father”.

However, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, who was affectionally called “Dr. G”, was a national icon, an experienced teacher, a wonderful mentor, recognized surgeon, a supportive health czar, a distinguished public servant, a pillar of integrity, a committed and dedicated public health physician.

Still, many health workers couldn’t hold back their emotions for his immense legacy as former Minister of Health and one of the longest serving cabinet ministers of the Republic of Liberia.

“There was no one better to lead the Ministry and rebuild the health sector following the Liberian civil crisis. He always worked with the best interest of the country in mind, and the health system he shaped continue to reflect the values he championed,” Dr. Peter Coleman, former Minister of Health asserted.

“Many have spoken about his championship but for us from the county health services, we are committing this little amount as contribution to his foundation”, Dr. Yatta Wapoe, County Health Officer of Montserrado County, committed on behalf of her colleagues who were in attendance.

“Man of integrity, honesty and sense of humor, I learned several things from you”, S. Tornorlah Varplah, heaped eulogy.

“I can record, Man of Integrity, when you asked me to come back home to server our country. I had no other option but to leave my WHO’s job and come back home to serve,” FARA Manager, Mrs. Louise Thomas Marpleh, remarked.

As Minister, Dr. G was a committed advocate for Liberians and indeed all Africans. He served as a member of the World Health Organization’s Executive Board, and during that tenure, he led the movement for the Director General to be an African. He was committed to equity, and fought to ensure that the institution’s leadership reflected the geographic and economic diversity of the constituent regions. His passion and strategic advocacy contributed to the improved representation we see today. He contributed to a number of transformative initiatives, most notably serving as a Board member for the Roll Back Malaria campaign.

At home, he was a visionary leader with ambitious goals for the country. He would often say that “if you do not know where you are going, anybody can carry you anywhere”. With this guiding philosophy, he led the development of the first post war National Health Policy and Plan, as well as the Basic Package of Health Services. This was the first time that Liberia had a comprehensive, documented roadmap for the provision of health services.

Giving all of these initiatives undertaken and his mentorship even his immediate Deputies wouldn’t hold back their tears: “Dr. G was a man of integrity; he made me to know that you don’t have to follow the political trend to keep your job. The reason while people build systems is to live after them.

“Dr. G helped to build the financial management system at this Ministry. He made me to know that people can set you up if you don’t have a good system setup. He gave people the opportunity and chance to work freely; he was always instrumental to training health workers and other staff.

“I want this to be a lesson to all here, and I think it can carry his vision, he helped to build the financial—which is a system that we all have confident in, and that along made me to be bold; because when I was leading as the Minister here, I was not afraid to tell people to come and audit us.

“People need to know this at all times that audit is a system strengthening activity because fraud is a bad product, and so when an audit is done, the auditors give you recommendations to help you strengthen the system; when there is fraud you, take appropriate actions. And that’s how people fight corruption, and this was what Dr. G stood for throughout his life”, Dr. Bernice T. Dahn, former Minister of Health expressed.  

 “Dr. G Fought a good fight, and he played his part and his departure has come. He was not afraid to help built Liberia’s health system, to a point that he ensured the right staff do the right job.

“I am told that he was a team player and so whenever he’s invited to the capital building to speak on the Ministry of Health’s matter, he carred along with his three principle deputy ministers; so that when questions are asked on administration you are responsible, when questions are asked on policy and planning the next person in line will be able to answer—he did not behave like he knew all.

“Dr. G has fought a good fight, and he has finished his battle. What does it mean to fight a goof fight? The word fight means to content in battle thereby putting forth a determine efforts.

“It is important to note that every one of us here are fighting some battles, we are fighting battle to succeed, make progress in life we are fighting a battle to get ahead and it is unfortunate however, that the kind of battle we are fighting is being divided into two, a “bad fight and a good fight” Paul said

“There are lot of us that are fighting, a bad fight is the one that you fight that leads to someone’s’ death,Rev. Ernest Wesseh Davis Remarks said while delivering a sermon. 

Following the grief-laden ceremony at the Ministry, where throngs of local and international partners, including Last Mile Health (LMH), Partners In Health (PIH), DFID, USAID, UN Bodies, World Bank (WB) European Union (EU) US CDC and Irish Aid; Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons (LCPS), Pharmacy Board, Liberia Board of Nursing and Midwifery (LBNM) & Liberian Medical Dental Council (LMDC) congregated, the body of the fallen Minister was taken to the St Peter Lutheran Church, 13th Sinkor, Monrovia, for celebration of his life service.

Signed: _________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communications

MOH, WHO Conclude Emergency Health Care System Meeting In Monrovia

(May 5, 2022, 14st Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia)—a team of Health experts from the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Washington DC, and the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) has concluded a two-day stakeholders meeting in Monrovia.

The meeting concluded by developing a strategic plan for strengthening the emergency and critical care systems in Liberia. It also looked at implementation plan for the highest priority actions, proposed training in WHO’s Basic Emergency Care course, and explored the possible launch of GETI in Liberia, from May to September of this year.

The assessment is being developed by the WHO and its partners to help low middle income country to have a complete situation analysis of their emergency health care system and how to improve upon it.

This came into being when Liberia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, thought it wise to engage WHO headquarters in Washington DC and asked for assistance.

“With the fast moving pace of modernization and development, Liberia will need a system in place to address the disadvantages that could follow. The construction and expansion of new roads from Monrovia to Nimba, the ongoing RIA highway, the rise in commercial motorcycles and many more, we need adequate ambulances and emergency departments manned by skilled practitioners for proper pre-hospital and in-hospital care.

“on behalf of the President and as Minister of Health do assure you and team Liberia’s fullest corporation to strengthening basic emergency care services throughout the length and breadth of Liberia”, Dr. Jallah expressed during the opening.

Prior to the two days meeting, the team along with the Ministry of Health conducted an assignment tour of major health facilities in Montserrado and Bong Counties.

However, the tour of these health facilities was aimed at strengthening and understanding how the available system works and what can be done to better improve it.

The tour kickoff on May 2, 2022 at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) in Monrovia with a brief PowerPoint presentation of what the team intend to do through the Ministry of Health (MOH) at various referrer hospitals.

This assignment dugout the basis and analysis of where Liberia stands as a country in terms of its emergency health care services and as well provide a strategic planning process and to find a way forward.

At the JFK Medical Center, the team met with doctors from their different departments including medical students who witnessed the presentation from WHO.

Dr. Jerry Yekeh Browne, Chief Executive Officer JFKMC in a brief conversation with journalists following the tour at the facility

The speaking during the tour at the JFKMC ground round, Dr. Jerry Yekeh Browne lauded the team for their visit and see it as a great boost to the health sector of Liberia. “They are here to do an assessment and at the end of the day, they will train health workers at referral hospitals, so that they can be more proactive in providing emergency health care services to patients,” said Dr. Browne.  

According to him, the assignment also looked at what various health centers have in place in terms of emergency care services and then critique it as well as make some recommendations to the Ministry for better improvement of the system. Dr. Browne said the team also want to ensure that the available emergency tools are up to standard.

Dr. Browne: “I hope the training of our health care workers will improve on their ability as they build on the existing knowledge and skills. We also hope to have our ambulances well equipped to appropriately transport patients from the various communities to the referral hospital.”  

Meanwhile, Dr. Jefferson Sibley, Chief Executive Officer of Phebe Hospital in Bong County, appreciated the team for coming to Liberia. “We think your coming here today is timely because we had been wishing for this so long.”

He outlined the lack of ambulances to response promptly to emergency cases something he said has resulted to the death of many.  He also named the lack of electricity to supply proper pipe boil water to important areas.

“We don’t have good system put in place here, to even transport patients from accident scene to the referrer hospital is a challenge as a results most of them die. If you look at the death almost 25% of death that occurs comes from our ER situation,” Dr. Sibley disclosed.

However, the two-day ongoing stakeholder meeting brought together health workers from various health facilities in Monrovia.

Finally, Ass. Minister George Jacobs declaring the gathering close, thanked the team from WHO for always remembering Liberia. On behalf of the Minister of Health, he committed the Ministry’s support in working with every document adopted during the gathering.

Signed: _________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communications

American Cancer Society Visits Dr. Jallah

(May 2, 2022, Congo Town, Liberia)—A team of medical practitioners from the American Cancer Society based in the United States of America has paid a courtesy to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah. The team headed by its Vice President for Global Cancer Treatment, Dr. Meg O’Brien, briefed the Minister on the Society’s desire to work with the Ministry of Health to train health workers in morphine.

 The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Our Global Headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, and we have regional and local offices throughout the country to ensure we have presence in every community.

Dr. Jallah expressed delight over the society’s desire to reach out to the Ministry, and at the same commits the Ministry’s willingness to work with the American organization for the common good of both countries.  

Signed: _______________________________________

              Felecia Gbesioh

              Director of Communications, MOH/RL

MOH, Partners Conclude Five-day Training On “Mobilizing Communities for Reproductive Health and Family Planning”

(April 29, 2022, Paynesville City, Liberia)—A five-day long regional training on communities’ mobilization for reproductive health and family planning has come to end at the Kendeja Hotel, Paynesville City, outskirt of Monrovia.

The training, which started today, April 25 -29,2022, was organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Breakthrough Action-Liberia. It trooped participants from several countries around the world, as African participants were in their numbers. Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Malawi, USA, etc are countries participants were selected from.

Firmly grounded in proven practices, Breakthrough ACTION has been working in partnership with the Liberian government through the Ministry of Health, civil society, and communities in twelve counties across Liberia to implement creative and sustainable SBC programming, nurture SBC champions, mainstream new techniques and technologies, and advocate strategic and sustained investment in SBC.

“To the facilitators, thanks for selecting and willing to come to Liberia. Now, to our participants, thanks for accepting the training. And to the Breakthrough ACTION team, it’s actually exciting: we look forward to building on this, especially with the government of Liberia”, Dr. Saratu Olabode-Ojo, Chief of Party, Breakthrough Action-Liberia, expressed.

However, Hon. Joyce D Sherman, Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health, has lauded USAID and Breakthrough ACTION for their continuous interventions and at the same time called on participants to make maximal use of what were taught to transform their respective countries’ health sectors for the good of the locals.

“As you have gotten this knowledge, please use it to help transformed the communities in your respective locals. We want to thanks Breakthrough Actions for the initiative”, Minister Sherman Lauds.  

The five-day training exercise focused on strengthening participant’s capacities to carry out Community Mobilization for Reproductive Health and family planning, using the adapted Community Action Cycle (CAC).

Wilson Gaye, Co-Facilitator and Employee of the Ministry of Health, said he expects trainees to apply knowledge gained from the training, especially in the scope of social and behaviour change communication (SBCC); social and behavior change (SBC); Community Mobilization (CM) and how they interrelate to each other; assess and strengthen community capacity to identify and prioritize reproductive health (RH)/ family planning (FP) issues, plan and implement effective community activities to address these issues; articulate their feelings, values and attitudes about gender and how personal perspectives of gender affects their work with communities; monitor community mobilization process, outcomes, and learning across communities; and plan how the new skills and knowledge will be applied upon return to their respective countries.

“Our expectation here is that whatever we learned from this training should be applied so the community can be the beneficiary”, Mr. Gaye expressed.

Hence, Adeniyi Olalekan Ekisola, a Nigerian participant, described the training as “strategies to building partnership between communities and the health system”.

In furtherance, participants assembled a Community Action Group (CAG) to work on key FP/RH issues that would describe modem approaches and tools to explore and prioritize SBC determinants of RH/FP issues, and they identified, through session discussion and presentations, a community behaviour that are easier or harder to change.

Finally, at the end of the training, participants defined process and tools for supportive supervision, monitoring and reporting of community mobilization initiatives, identified the areas of improvement for the workshop, and annex commitment to use their new skills to mobilize communities in their respective countries.

Their interventions will harness the demonstrated power of communication—from mass media to community outreach to user-driven social media campaigns—to inspire long-lasting change, while also taking advantage of innovative approaches from marketing science, behavioral economics, and human-centered design.They were certificated for their participation.

Signed: ___________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications, MoH/RL

MOH, Partners Celebrate African Vaccination Week 2022

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners has joined other African countries to celebrate and launched the African Vaccination Week 2022 in Liberia.

The African Vaccination Week is an annual event that is marked in the last week of April; it is also being held in conjunction with World Immunizations week. In 1974, WHO created the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), a worldwide effort mobilized to help countries increase immunization coverage of basic childhood vaccines—diphtheria, measles, pertussis, polio, tetanus, and tuberculosis—using the third dose of diphtheria, tetanus.

Speaking at the event in Monrovia, Dr. Musu Duworkor, WHO Family Planning/SRHR Focal Point-Liberia, said the purpose of the African Vaccination Week is to provide the opportunity to showcase the importance of vaccines “in our lives”, showing how to protect the humanity of all ages. “So vaccination is not for babies along.” However, the African Vaccination Week 2022 is been celebrated under the theme: “Long Life for All.”

Dr. Musu Duworkor, WHO Family Planning/SRHR Focal Point-Liberia

“The 2022 theme “long life for all” clearly demonstrates this goal and it portrays the lifesaving potential vaccines for everyone everywhere,” she added. Dr. Duworkor, further indicated that this indicates the universality of vaccination across the globe. She however acknowledged that there are mixed opportunities to get everyone everywhere vaccinated all of the time, for example, the “COVID-19 vaccination coverage is about 58% up to date.” In Africa Dr. Duworkor said, the COVID-19 vaccination average is about 18.7% and for Liberia “we have been progressing and we are more the African average and Liberia has now achieved more than 44%.” Henceforth the African Vaccination Week is essential to the advocacy and drives to promote the universality of vaccination for everyone everywhere.

However, the African Vaccination Week 2022 kick-off from 24-30 of April, today’s event however, brought together development partners, and health professionals including baby mothers from different communities in Monrovia.

Liberia is celebrating African Vaccination Week 2022 with vaccination services to keep children healthy. The services according to health authorities will be provided in all 15 Counties at Clinics, Hospitals, and designated outreach sites.

Adolphus Clark, Program Manager, Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in Liberia, informed the public that as a people and country, “it is important to appreciate from whence we have come from and where we are today.” Mr. Clark recalled that the history of immunization in Liberia is dated back to 1973, and Liberia was notified by the WHO in 1974 to establish what is  now called the “Expanded Program on Immunization” he clarified that Liberia at the time didn’t do too well, “it took us 4years to achieve and so one of the reasons why we could not introduce or launch this the program was due to the lack of proper infrastructure in place to ensure that all health facilities were equipped to have the storage capacity for storing our vaccines.”

According to him, Liberia needed to train human resources for health, “I mean people needed to be trained on how to administer vaccines and how to handle it. When the country officially launched the Immunization program in 1978, the Ministry at the time was targeting many diseases including measles, pertussis, tetanus, and tuberculosis among others. It was renamed as Universal Immunization Program in 1985 when its reach was expanded beyond urban areas.

Mr. Clark has disclosed that amid the outbreak of measles in the communities across Montserrado

Meanwhile, Mr. Clark has disclosed that amid the outbreak of measles in the communities across Montserrado, there are ongoing efforts to do a national response in all of the 15 counties beginning May 2, 2022. During this period the Ministry of Health is expected to vaccinate about 2million persons, we have confidence in our team,” said Mr. Clark.

At the same time, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said in a special message that this year’s theme, “Long Life for All”, highlights the life-saving potential of vaccines for everyone, everywhere. Yet, in Africa, tens of millions of people are still missing out on some, or all, their scheduled immunizations against diseases that have long been eradicated by vaccines.

Delivering a special message in commemoration of the (AVW), Dr. Moeti, disclosed that more than a year into the COVID-19 global vaccine rollout, Africa is benefiting – if later than the rest of the world – from the speedy, efficient development of vaccines to curb the virus. There are currently 10 COVID-19 vaccines available through the COVAX Facility, with more in the research and development pipeline.

According to her, although 480 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Africa to date, making it the biggest vaccine rollout in the history of the continent, only 18.7% of the African population is fully vaccinated – lagging woefully behind the global average of 58%.

Dr. Moeti: “WHO, together with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, World Bank, the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has identified 20 priority countries in the WHO African Region for intensified support? Multi-partner country support teams are currently on the ground helping countries with technical and financial resources to ramp up overall and high-priority group COVID-19 vaccination coverage.”

As we work to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination efforts, it is critical that we don’t ignore the urgent need to also strengthen routine immunization efforts. Since 2020, routine immunization has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 containment measures, leading to tens of millions of infants in Africa missing out on essential childhood vaccinations. These include the Diphtheria, Tetanus toxoid, and Pertussis (whooping cough)-containing vaccine, as well as the measles vaccine.

Earlier this year, she noted that a case of wild poliovirus type 1 was recorded in Malawi. This vaccine-preventable disease had been eliminated from the African Region since August 2020. “I commend the Government of Malawi for moving swiftly to contain the outbreak, quickly vaccinating 2.7 million children younger than five against the disease.” However, the incident is a timely reminder that routine vaccinations should be a non-negotiable on our continent.

We have also seen some good examples of best practices, with routine immunization integrated with COVID-19 vaccination. In response to the Yellow Fever outbreak in late 2021, for instance, mobile vaccination teams in Ghana carried Yellow Fever vaccines along with COVID-19 vaccines, vaccinating all eligible people against both. Nigeria recently launched the optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy, which will integrate routine childhood immunization with COVID-19 vaccination at its fixed and mobile vaccination sites.

She urged all countries to ramp up routine immunization and COVID-19 vaccination efforts concurrently, allocating the necessary resources. Maintaining routine immunization services, despite the shift of resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years, is more cost-effective, and will leader to a longer life for all.  


            Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communications MoH/RL