FARA COUNTIES REPORT TREMENDOUS GAINS IN HEALTH INDICATORS
The United States Agency for International Development through its Fixed Amount Reimbursement Agreement (FARA) has continued to demonstrate its commitment to help improve Liberia’s health sector, decimated by years of war and lately the Ebola Virus Disease.
FARA is a USAID sponsored program designed to help the people and government of Liberia through the funding of various activities including health related ones and the strengthening of systems and management.
It can be recalled that both the Government of Liberia and USAID sometimes last year, signed USD 59.1 Million agreement to strengthen Primary Health Care Service Delivery. As part of its support to the health sector, FARA is genuinely sponsoring three counties, namely Bong, Lofa and Nimba with the primary focus to improve the health indicators and empower rural dwellers.
Besides, the FARA support is meant to beef up the capacity of the three County Health Teams carry out the effective management, technical, Human Resource and Community outreach in an effort to roll out quality health delivery in those counties.
During the first FARA Partners’ Monthly implementation Review Meeting for this year, Bong, Nimba and Lofa made separate presentations, detailing what appear flowery accounts of their performance in the last quarter.
In the three counties, there exists huge disparity between FARA supported facilities and non FARA supported health facilities in the area of quality health care delivery.
The counties told a gathering of FARA Partners that they carried out key activities aimed at meeting FARA deliverables for the quarter.
They conducted widespread contraceptive campaigns in various communities aimed at empowering the locals on the importance of contraceptive and the attending benefits to family planning. Over four thousand clients benefited from variety of contraceptive protection.
They also reported a dramatic increase in ANC visits and with the support of FARA to AFRICARE and CHTs, 3, 960 persons received prenatal care in one of the three counties during the last quarter.
The FARA supported counties also recorded maternal and neonatal deaths, though not in huge number as compare to the past. However, many would think that the records were necessary to inspire the government think through a sustained intervention mechanism to address the rising number of women and children dying at birth.
The counties blamed the maternal and neonatal deaths on medical factors including what they termed as Abruptio, Placenta, and late referral among others.
During the gathering, the FARA supported counties also spoke of functional facilities with safe drinking water and latrine. In addition, children less than five years, received treatment in huge number for illnesses such as malaria, Diahaaria and other complications while over 13 children were referred from the communities to health facilities for proper care management.
The FARA supports have also triggered down to the District Health Teams who with their share of the FARA’s fortune, are conducting mentoring session and gradually moving away from the normal training that is widely known among many practitioners.
In separate recommendations, Bong, Lofa and Nimba with huge population in the country, recommended among other things a break away from the bureaucracy in processing request at the NDS.
They also recommended a regular supply of HIV Test Kits, the ARV drugs and the yellow fever vaccine, which they said are often limited in supply.