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The Health Ministry and the World Health organization (WHO) On Friday April 5, 2019, observed an initial celebration of World Health day at the Ministry’s head office entrance in Congo town.

The intent of this initial celebration was to present to the world the commitment and togetherness of all. The solidarity chain brought together donors, officials of the Ministry, policy Makers, WHO staff, Health Workers, patients etc.  The joining of hands around the world which was portrayed by participants, symbolizes their commitment to bridging gaps and working collaboratively towards universal health coverage (UHC), the theme for this year’s World Health Day.

Addressing the opening session, the Minister of Health, Min. Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah dedicated this year’s World Health day to all Liberians. She said as Health Practitioners, we are knowledgeable about the World Health day unlike those who are out there in desperate need of essential health tips.

This according to Dr. Jallah, can only be done by our outreach to the last mile by providing them with those basic Health educations that would enable them shoulder their own health responsibilities instead of blaming others.

Minister Jallah also stressed the need for everyone to be responsible for his or her own health by eating the right food, keeping our environment clean and having a consistent medical visitation especially when we fall ill. She finally called on all Liberians to unite and celebrate the World Health Day considering the fact that, at this point in time, Liberia as a nation can unite with the rest of the World to keep the world and Liberia healthy.

In his remarks, the WHO representative Dr. Mesfin Gebrekidan Zbelo indicated the need for universal health coverage cannot be over emphasized in that, it’s been used as the theme for this year’s World Health Day.

Dr. Mesfin said the need for universal health coverage is very much important because it ensures that everyone, no matter where they are, no matter where they live, no matter when they need it, can access quality health services without facing financial hardship. 

Speaking further, he said this year’s celebration of World Health Day shines a spotlight on the advantage universal health coverage (UHC) brings to all people in all places and the essence of it.

Dr. Mesfin stated that globally, the world Health Organization (WHO) is attempting to get one billion more people to benefit from quality health services and financial protection by 2023. The progress towards health related and broader development, can only be achieved by providing access to quality care and protection for financial option to everyone everywhere. 

He said the regional director of WHO is accelerating support to countries by realigning their services and relationship in achieving universal health coverage. In the absence of health security, there cannot be universal health coverage and in the absence of universal health coverage there cannot be health security.

This involves the assessment of the major services to ensure that they are design for everyone everywhere at every time as well as the introduction of innovative approaches for the delivery of those services. The need for making use of digital solutions will put in place innovative systems to deliver universal health coverage for the people of Africa.

In addition to support this realignment, the regional director is helping to build the evidence based around what works and what doesn’t work in developing and applying universal health coverage, by documenting practices to implement the code interventions and to also setup comprehensive information. Dr. Mesfin said, health systems strengthening for universal health coverage is one of the key instruments for change.

It entails “integration of good stewardship, adequate financing, qualified and motivated workforce, access to quality medicine and health products, functional health information system and people centered health service delivery.

He concluded on behalf of the regional director by saying “I look forward to working with governments and partners in the region so as to move towards universal health coverage. It is only by coming together that we can achieve the health and wellbeing we want for our people”. 

Signed: Felecia Gbesioh 

Director of Communications

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