As part of effort to decentralize the activities within the health sector of Liberia, the Governance & Decentralization Unit (GDU) of the Ministry of Health has completed the roll-out of the Draft County Health Board Operational Manual in five Counties (Bomi, Gbarpolu, River Gee, River Cess and Grand Gedeh), in addition to the orientations in Bong, Lofa and Nimba that were previously done in February 2017.
The purpose of the current manual is to strengthen County Health Boards to comply with their oversight responsibility to monitor the implementation of health service delivery in the counties, as well as to standardize their operational procedures across Liberia. The board operational manual was developed with support from USAID Liberia CSH program, Global Fund, EPOs and MOH Governance & Decentralization Unit (GDU). The County Health Board is composed of County Superintendents who chair the Board, selected persons from County Health Teams (CHTs), representatives from line ministries as well as other representatives from civil society, women and youth groups and the traditional council.
It can be recalled that in 2015 the Ministry of Health through its Governance and Decentralization Unit and its partners made tremendous efforts to establish governance and leadership structures such as the County Health Boards, Hospital Boards, District Health Boards, and Community Health Committees throughout the county to enhance the provision of health services on an equitable basis in consonance with the National Health Policy and Plan (2011-2021).
The orientation of a total of eight county health boards is a demonstration of the commitment of partners to ensure improvement and sustainability in the management of health services at the decentralized level in Liberia.
Speaking during the opening of Gbarpolu County Health Board Orientation, Superintendent Armah Sannoh welcomed everyone to the all important gathering and pledged his county’s support in working with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health.
Additionally, the County Health Officer (CHO) Dr. Anthony Tucker expressed his gratitude and affirmed the County Health Team’s willingness to work with the Governance & Decentralization Unit (GDU) at the Ministry to adopt the County Health Board Operational Manual, which he believes will serve as a guiding tool in demonstrating their duties.
Giving an overview of the gathering, the Director of the Governance & Decentralization Unit (GDU), Justine A. Korvayan, said it was a dream come true for the Unit to launch the National Health and Social Welfare Decentralization Policy and Strategy in 2012 to provide a roadmap toward decentralization at the Ministry of Health. “Although the Ebola Virus disease had devastating impact on Liberia’s health system, the current efforts to strengthen health governance is pivotal to addressing some of the challenges faced by the system even before theadvent of the Ebola Virus Disease,” Mr. Korvayan continued.
He, however, added that the County Health Board Operational Manual will be used to support County Health Boards to comply with their duties as well as to standardize their operational procedures across the country.