Liberia Ends Joint External Evaluation of IHR
The venue was the Golden Key Hotel in Paynesville, where local health authorities including representatives of line ministries sat with foreign experts for five days to access the country’s ability in the implementation of the International Health Regulation, IHR for short.
The International Health regulation represents a binding international legal agreement involving 169 countries across the world.
It endeavors to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the spread of diseases in ways that correspond and restricted to public health risks, avoiding international traffic and trade.
The five day exercise produced a draft report, which catalogued some major achievements labeled as best practices Liberia has carried out through the Ministry of Health in implementing the IHR. Liberia, being the first country in West Africa to hold the IHR Joint external Evaluation, needs to make some improvements in key areas such as Laboratory quality System, Human Resource to implement IHR core capacity, emergency Public Health Response at Port of Entries and Food Safety as reflected by the findings of the just ended evaluation.
Speaking at the close of the of the joint external evaluation, the Country Representative of the world Health Organization, Dr. Alex Gassirra, described the deliberation as excellence and a challenge to both the ministry and partners to work together in bridging the gaps highlighted by the external evaluators during the workshop. Dr. Gassira then pledged his organization’s support to work closely with the government through the ministry in handling the gaps. For his part, the head of the US based Center for Diseas Control, Mr. Desmond Williams, thanked the participants for what he called their detailed review of Liberia’s capacity to implement the IHR, saying we look forward to seeing the finalized report.
The Deputy Health team Lead of USAID also spoke at the official closing of the program. Madam Milly Howard described the five day event as an extraordinary productive discussion, which outcome must be taken seriously in implementing the IHR. “The JEE outcome is extremely important to begin helping us look at activities USAID intends to undertake.” Said Madam—
Another senior personality who made remarks at the close of the JEE was former Health Minister and now senator of Grand Kru county, Peter Coleman. Senator Coleman thanked the external evaluators for the work and promised to collaborate with the ministry in finding ways to bridge the gaps. Dr. Coleman committed himself to bring together the Ministries of Health and Agriculture to address the inadequacy of food safety highlighted in the just ended JEE.
The external evaluators came from the World Health Organization, Center for disease Control, African Union among others.