COVID-19 Incident Management System Begins Counties’ Tour

(July 2, 2020, Monrovia, Liberia)—The Coronavirus Incident Management System (IMS) has begun strategic counties Tour aimed at engaging counties’ leadership for their rapid response and involvement in the fight against the COVID-19, which has paralyzed global health system.

According to a release from the IMS, the engagement with Counties political leaders is geared towards insuring their involvement in the response and coordination with the incident command structure at all counties’ level.

The orientation meeting which was held in the port city of Buchanan over the weekend gathered political stakeholders, including Representatives, County Health Officers (CHTs) County Superintends, and members of the joint Security from River Cess and Grand Bassa Counties.

Explaining the importance of the tour more to the MoHTv, Mr. Abraham Nyenswah, Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC) Manager said the orientation meeting was meant to abreast political stakeholders with their roles and responsibilities.

The Manager said when stakeholders in the country are orientated with IMS’ command; they will take rightful decision in the enforcement of masks wearing and other preventive measures in order to curtail the sporadic spread of the virus.

The release noted that, as a way of building coordination and corporation between both the IMS and stakeholders, the meeting provided fundamental principles of incident management to be used as guidance for their respective command.

When it comes to discharging function in the IMS, Mr Nyenswah disclosed that decisions are made through the incident command system—not only a single institution including the County Health Team or Internal Affairs Ministry can take action without consultation with the body.

Mr Nyenswah has appealed to political leaders to make use of the needed resources available and trust the technicians for the full implementation of the IMS, and at the same time urged all political leaders to collectively work together in the interest of the state.

For his part, River Cess COVID-19 Incident command System Head, Dr. Joseph Topoe discouraged the existence of COVID-19 vaccine, terming it as a “myth”.

“People should not believe that there is a vaccine or cure for this virus. This is just a complete myth. No one should lie to you that there exists any vaccine of the virus,’’ he stressed.

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PHECO Manager Abraham Nyenswah addressing participants in Buchanan City

Since vaccine for the virus has not been officially discovered, there is a need for the taskforce and CHTs to work together in dispersing the myth concerning immunization. Saying “these are challenges face by the counties health teams on a daily basis concerning the discovering of the COVID-19 vaccine”. 

Making special statement on behalf of the political stakeholders, Grand Bassa County Superintendent for Development, Hon. Flee A. Glay thanked IMS for the meeting and asked the team to always invite stakeholders to such orientation for the dissemination of Coronavirus awareness messages to the Liberian populace.

He called on political stakeholders as well as all well-meaning Liberians to corporate with health authority in order to contain the spread of the virus.  

The IMS is a standard approach is used in large and small-scale incidents throughout the globe. The MoH and partners adopted the IMS principles in managing their responses to public health emergencies, which in addition to the command, operations, logistics, planning, and finance/administrative functions, also includes scientific/public health response roles.

Signed:_____________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

      Director of Communications

Contact: 0886-581-787/0770-259-623/ fezo2g8@yahoo.com

Saar Insurance Company Makes Donation To The Ministry Of Health

The Saar Insurance Company makes a donation of fifty thousand united states dollars ( $ 50.00 USD) to the ministry of health as an effort in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Making the presentation at the head quarter of the Ministry of Health in the oldest Congo town Mr. Philip T. Cooper Branch Manager / Acting CEO said, the donation is just a minimum amount to buttress the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute effort in the fight against the deadly coronavirus disease.

According to Mr Cooper, the above mentioned amount has already been deposited in government COVID-19 response account. He added by acknowledging the effort made by government despite the constraint its faces and said the that company is concern about the well-being and safety of health workers who are on the frontline around the country in the COVID-19 fight.

Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah in a remark appreciated Saar insurance company for the generous donation and said the money came just in time when the ministry needed it the most. The minister used the occasion to caution insure and uninsured staff not to treat themselves before coming to the ministry, such people could be suppressing the symptoms of COVID- 19 thus  endangering the lives of others but to immediately engage the ministry.

Meanwhile, face masks is being sold for hundred Liberian dollars ( $ 100.00) and every citizens should take advantage of the situation and buy one in  order to stay save.

The minister applauds the media for the timely and accurate reporting. She also cautioned community dwellers not to be afraid that COVID -19 is easy to contract and easy to be cure.

ECOWAS Donates Consignment of Medicines and Essential Medical Equipment to The Ministry of Health

The Economy Community of West African State (ECOWAS) through West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) have donated a consignment of medicine and other medical items to the Ministry of Health to be use in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The donation was made at the Ministry of Health compound in the oldest Congo town by ECOWAS Ambassador. Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo.

During the donation ceremony the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission to Liberia said, the supplies are gift from the heart of  ECOWAS chief of authority and WAHO the specialized health institution that have been playing a coordinating role to the ministry and all health ministries within the sub-region.

According to Ambassador Ajisomo, the donation of the medical supplies to the government of Liberia, and all ECOWAS states within the region is to combat the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease which has since become a global pandemic.

The items donated by the ECOWAS Ambassador include; Azithromycin, Chloroquin phosphate, personal protective equipment (PPE) among others.

Ambassador Ajisomo further noted that the move of WAHO to donate the items was prompted by ECOWAS mandate which seek to promote the well-being of the people of its communities as such ECOWAS will do everything in its reach to prevent member states from becoming a high burden and inflated region.

However, Mr. Ajisomo maintained that WAHO is working very hard to ensure that member states that are low burden with the virus does not become high burden countries until the virus is  terminated.

The ECOWAS Ambassador also called on Liberians and residents of all ECOWAS member states to go for testing and adhere to the health protocol as provided by the government.

The Minister of health Dr. Wilhelmina  Jallah receiving the items extended thanks and appreciation to the ambassador of ECOWAS and WAHO on behalf of President George Manneh Weah whom she believed has been an active participant in helping to gather these drugs and medical supplies to the people of Liberia.

According to Minister Jallah , WAHO have been showing its significance to the people of Liberia through difficult and trying times- in war, in human capacity building, in information sharing , and many other good works.

She further assured ambassador Ajisomo that the donation received will be turn over to the Case Management team as the lead in the fight to curb the spread of the virus in the country.

Meanwhile, Minister Jallah used the occasion to caution citizens who are afraid to seek treatment at health facilities and are going to smaller drugs store, praying bands, traditional herbalist, and other places should desist.

Dr. Jallah noted that most people often sit and allow the situation to get  worse before seeking proper medical attention at which time according to Minister Jallah is most often too late.

The minister further stressed that the disease is not like Ebola. “This other sickness comes with coughing, sneezing, bitter taste, stuffy nose, and difficulties in breathing which is the last state and many people will wait up to this point before rushing to the testing center or nearest health facilities”, she said.

 The minister on the other hand, frowned at healthcare workers that are refusing to tend to ordinary patients who have gone to seek medical attention at health facilities.

Meanwhile, Minister Wilhelmina Jallah inclosing also added that people should observe the social distancing protocol because, there have been series of reports from the media about communities transmission received by POC due to smaller communities gathering.  

World Bank have donated two Buses to the University of Liberia Medical School of Pharmacist.

In opening remarks, Minister Wilhelmina Jallah used the occasion to thank the World Bank and welcome participating institutions and organizations partnering with the ministry of health in achieving a resilient health care system within the country. She in her presentation indicated that the buses were in fulfillment of the World Bank promised a year ago based on the request by students of the medical school and the school of pharmacy at the University of Liberia.

According to Dr Jallah, the Bank has been supportive in the Health Work Force program which is one of the key pillars of the ministry of health investment plan for resilient health system. She stated further, that the Bank has also provided immense support for infrastructure development and has since supported the A.M Dogliotti School of medicine with preclinical faculties in 2017 as well as given support for associate Dean Position.

The minister said that most of the support has ended and she’s hopeful that the program would start again. She however disclosed that the buses will be used to transport students and staffs commuting between fendell campus, sinkor and Congo town respectively.

Representing the World Bank during the ceremony was Dr Khwima Nthara country manager World Bank Liberia. Dr Nthara said, he sees the donation as a milestone that would boost Liberia’s health care delivery system. He also acknowledged that Liberia, like any African country is facing challenges in managing its health system. He however lauded the ministry of health and A.M Dogliotti College of medicine for their level of professionalism exhibited in handing over the two new vehicles. According to Dr Nthara, the World Bank provided initial support of US$2.45m to finance construction of two state of the art and fully furnished 48-bed dormitories, 2 furnished classrooms and one skilled laboratory, which was aimed at strengthening the learning environment of the college and to also enhance the health workforce and contribute to the improvement of health care services in Liberia.

Dr Nthara then added that the support was in response to findings conducted by the ministry of health in 2015, whose results revealed the poor leaning environment and living conditions that contributed to low enrollment and high attrition of medical students. Meanwhile, the findings also revealed the following:

  • Unsuitable electricity and internet
  • The lack of a skilled lab to learn through hands-on practice; and
  • Overcrowded dormitories with no desks or tables for studying

Still on the findings, 18 students were housed in each 3- bedrooms apartment, with 6 students sharing a bedroom, and all 18 students sharing one bathroom with no running water. Dr Nthara than concluded by saying that he’s of the conviction that the new dormitory and skilled laboratory project commissioned on December 20, 2018 to address those bottlenecks was conceived. He appealed to the college and the ministry to ensure proper maintenance of the vehicles.

Also representing the university of Liberia at the occasion was Dr Moses Zinnah vice president for academic affair who proxy for the president of the university of Liberia Dr J Sarwolo Nelson jr.  Dr Zinnah in remarks begun by appreciating the World Bank  and the ministry of health for procuring the vehicles for the medical school and the school of pharmacy.

 He said the students and faculties would be required to move between Monrovia, fendell campus for classes and JFK hospital for teaching, learning, and clinical rotation. Dr Zinnah outlined impeding circumstances that have challenged the medical institution ranging from economic to political turmoil   and disease outbreak which have jeopardized the school very existence. He extended appreciation to heroic faculties who have stood the test of time in this difficult period.

Moderating the occasion was Mr. Matthew T.K.Flomo Wolrd Bank project manager ministry of health. Mr Flomo who also gives the vote of thanks for the program said “the buses were procured by the ministry of health and funded by the World Bank through the Ebola response and emergency project. This is simply the result of the fulfillment of a promised made by the outgone regional director of the World Bank for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone Dr Henry K. Enririen in December 2018, with an appeal from the University of Liberia”.

According to Mr Flomo, the monetary value of the two buses is one hundred twenty one thousand including one year insurance benefit (US$121,000.00).

Ministry of Health Graduates Obstetric and Neonatal Clinicians Today

Health Ministry graduated 11 obstetric and neonatal clinicians at its HQ in Congo town today through the family health division unit.

On behalf of the ministry at the opening ceremony Dr. Catherine T. Cooper assistant minister for curative services  made the welcoming remarks .Dr Cooper said ‘’the ministry of health is truly honor  to be hosting this graduation today because we are seeing this graduating class as  another millstone in our fight against maternal mortality’’. She further went on to appreciate the partners for standing with the ministry in these perilous times.

Meanwhile, speaking and giving some brief historical information of the organization Maternal and Child Health Advocacy International (MCAI) was Mr. Emmanuel D. Hne an obstetric clinician. Mr. Hne said that the organization maternal and child health advocacy international (MCAI)  aim is to save and improve the lives of seriously ill pregnant women ,babies and children in low resource countries , a charitable organization that was founded since 1995. Initially, MCAI was called child advocacy international (CAI) which changed her name to MCAI in 2019. The organization has worked with 11 countries and was relocated from England 2012 to Scotland. Providing additional information on the organization functions, professor David Southall Honorary Medical Director, said this world does has human right implication and that this program only works in the public health system not the private system. It doesn’t mean that they are not working with the private system he maintained. He also stated that the real essence of this work is to look after the poorest people who cannot afford hospital or clinical funds.

Closing the program was the deputy minister for administration Norwu G. Howard  said our training  midwife has successfully performed several functions with very minimum mortality, neonatal care has been put on charged and  group of staffs that you can actually  count on and that will contribute significantly to the reduction in our neonatal motility rate in our country .she strongly believe that if the right people are giving the skills, knowledge ,and tools to performs a task, and if appropriate steps are taken for all procedures and  supervisors who do the jobs for which they signed up for which is to mentor,  coach , and supervise the system will get its intended results .This program have trained staffs on the use of new skills of performing surgery. Madam Howard cautioned teachers and maintained that they must provide path way to evaluate pain, provide path way to follow for the use of pain medication every time a drug is used. She emphasized the need to develop a registry that would be monitored closely having the inclusion of clinical details and photos of pregnant women before and after their delivery of visitation.  

Samaritan’s Purse New Eye Center Offered Free Surgeries in Tellewayon Medical Center

The Samaritan’s purse New Sight Eye Center in collaboration with the Ministry of Health held a one week of major eye surgical operations in Voinjama District Lofa County from August 19-23, 2019. Its intent was to restore better eye sight to those faced with eyes condition residing in Lofa and its suburb. 

Speaking to the Ministry of Health TV,  Mrs. kou Bamakoa Sims, Health Sector Manager of  Samaritan’s Purse said, the operation  seeks to address situations ranging from CATARACTS TO NEARLY VISUAL IMPAIR INDIVIDUAL .She further noted that the campaign declared  against cataracts is sponsored by Samaritan’s purse and implemented by the new sight eye center located in Monrovia. 

The actual cost of this project is about fifteen thousand united state dollars ($15, 00.00USD) she added. This eye operation is Samaritan ‘s purse own way of evangelism as they preach Christ across the nation. 

The patients on the other hand, lamented the need for an extension in the time frame of this surgical operations, on grounds that the number of people wanting to undergo treatment has increased from approximately 1000 to 1,500 or more.

 Lofa County isdensely populated, geographically large and the number of persons that left their homes was still optimistic to be served. One major reason for the growing number of people on a daily basic as the operation continued was because of families being inspired by the testimonies of their love ones. So, they were moved to pull in their numbers. 

However, the supervisor on this program said nothing could be done despite the massive turnout. Meanwhile, there is a set priority on target (cataracts). She indicated that most of the cases screened were not eye cataracts but rather Pterygium (flesh growing on the eye), while others could have been spiritual.

According to Mrs. Sims, while it is true that the turnout is overwhelming, the trip itself is a field survey and a case study hoping that the ministry of health and partners would see the need to making sure that immediate attention is drawn to the eye sector in Liberia.                             

Also speaking to this TV was the chief administrator of Tellewayon Medical Hospital Mr. Albert M Colee. He was amazed by the soul touching testimonies of patients who over the period have suffered the effects of cataracts and blindness for years.  

They were seen glorifying God for the Samaritan’s purse, new sight eye center and the government of Liberia. He outlines several challenges faced by the Tellewayon Medical Hospital, but the most disturbing one is running the facility without an eye surgeon, cognizant that the hospital is a very large place.

Meanwhile, the assistant District Development Superintendent Samuel Mulbah lauded the team of surgeon headed by Robert Dolo assisted by Clarence Nyan Menteh for a brilliant and significant job done so far, and would have appreciated more if the exercise would stay and even extend beyond Lofa County as well as other parts of the District.  

Climaxing the entire Surgical Operation was Dr. Joseph L Kerkulah program manager, National Eye Health of the Ministry of Health located in the oldest Congo town. 

According to Dr. Kerkulah, the surgical outreach was successful on grounds that they anticipated treating only fifty (50) persons for the entire five (5) days but exceeded the target and treated three times that number. He further went on to say that “based on our experience in Rivercess we did pre campaign awareness and mobilization that led to the huge turnout of patients in the Voinjama region. we would actually love to return and do more work in that region but the issue of funding remains a challenge. Hence, the training of eye surgeons cannot be over emphasized.” 

MOH Nutrition Unit Validates It’s National Nutrition Policy

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, The Nutrition Division through the Ministry of Health with support from donors and implementing partners validated it’s revised 2008 National Nutrition policy document at the St. Peter’s claver High School in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The National Nutrition Policy validation working session which lasted for two days, April 2-3, 2019, brought together stakeholders, partners, line ministries, CHOs, as well as program managers and directors of various departments of the Ministry of Health. (MOH)

In collaboration with partners, the nutrition division decided to increase access to coverage by opening a nutrition unit at the J.F.K hospital and is expected to also establish one at the ELWA hospital.

According to the director of the Nutrition division, Dr. Anette Brima Davis, the validation was overdue because of the lack of funding.  Dr. Davis deliberated that the objectives of the Nutrition policy is to mobilize stakeholders that are involved in nutrition specific and sensitive interventions to making sure that the nutrition needs of all Liberians are met and having the new development in the field of nutrition being reflected both at the global and national level. She said the policy will also create an enabling environment for partnership with line-ministries, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector. The National Nutrition Policy is also inclusive of a framework, to help government prioritize its nutrition actions considering the country’s limited financial resources. 

Dr. Davis also stated that it is essential and appropriate to always have an intake of nutrients dense food made of proteins, carbohydrates vitamins with all of the necessary minerals coming together, will strengthen us as a people to have a healthy nutritional status. It will also reduce the issue of stunting. She said in order to have a healthy and productive society, nutrition should be prioritize to enhance the eradication of the major stunting challenge faced by this nation. 

Dr. Davis said, stunting is 35.5% beyond the WHO threshold which is 28% below. 

She also stated that the government of Liberia sees nutrition as a means of economic development thus including it in the pro poor agenda for prosperity and development (PAPD) as a way of reducing stunting from 35% to 22% come 2023. She then lauded the government of Liberia stakeholders, partners, the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, counties supervisors and line-ministries for their overwhelming and continuous level of Enthusiasm brought to the process. She concluded and assured the participants and all well-meaning Liberians that with all hands on deck success is sure.

MOH Aids Team From Isreal in Visit to Liberia

The Israelis medical team visit to Liberia comes as a result of the President and his entourage’s recent visit to Isreal of which Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah formed an integral part.

During the visit, his Excellency President George M. Weah met with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israelis Prime Minister in which Agriculture and Health were high on the agenda amongst other pertinent issues.

According to Dr. Ronit Almog spokesperson of the team, they were from Tel-Aviv medical center located in Ichilov, Isreal which is one of their biggest hospital. She further noted that in their effort to save lives, they were able to establish an organization named “Bringing new lives to the world”.  

She also said that their coming to Liberia is the beginning of a program which is soon to be set up and it is also a program that seeks to cover a doctors exchange that would enable Liberian doctors visit Israel whilst Israelis doctors to Liberia. According to Dr. Ronit Almog from their assessment made at these major facilities (John F. Kennedy Hospital, CB Dumba Hospital, and Phebe Hospital), she believes that there is an urgent need for them to assist with equipment to the health facilitates in Liberia.A group of four, Prof. Ariel Many, Dr. Ronit Almog, Dr. Ronela Marou and international photographer Zi Kooren of national Geography channel who were in the Liberia since Sunday, March 17, 2019, left on Sunday, March 24, 2019.