MOH Receives Oxygen Concentrators from WHO

following donation of ventilator worth US$699,500 to the Ministry of Health (MOH) by the World Bank recently to ensuring that Liberian “lives are safe by building the health system in the Country, the Ministry has again received, 21 pieces of Oxygen Concentrators from the World Health Organization (WHO) to support its Coronavirus response. The donation was made on Thursday, August 6, 2020 on the Ministry’s Compound in Congo Town, Monrovia.

An oxygen concentrator is a device that concentrates the oxygen from a gas supply (typically ambient air) by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream. Two methods in common use are pressure swing adsorption and membrane gas separation.

The machines worth over US$14,280.00, using pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology will be used for oxygen provision in healthcare applications, especially where liquid or pressurized oxygen is too dangerous or inconvenient. Treatment units facing shortage of oxygen concentrators will now benefit from the supplies, according to the Ministry of Health’s press release. 

Receiving the donation on behalf of the Government, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah thanked WHO for always coming to the aid of the Country, especially her Ministry in these critical and difficult times of the pandemic. “You have always been there for us in these critical and difficult times of the pandemic,” she stressed.

The energetic Health Minister said, with spread of the deadly coronavirus across the Country, the machines will be distributed among the fifteen political sub-division of the Country to boost the fight against the virus.

“Now, we are happy that these 21 pieces of machines are in country. These machines will be distributed among our fifteen political sub-division in order to enhance our fight against the virus”, she disclosed.

Earlier, delivering the machines to the Ministry, WHO Representative Liberia, Dr. Peter L. Clement, said the donation is the Health Body’s ways of contributing to Liberia’s COVID-19 response, saying “this donation is part of WHO support to Liberia’s COVID-19 response”.

The oxygen concentrator which takes in air and removes nitrogen from it, leaving an oxygen enriched gas for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood, will enhance nurses and doctors’ work at various treatment units.

‘We Appreciate Your Gesture’

With recent wave of donations to the Ministry of Health (MOH) by both national and international organizations to pep talk its fight against the venomous Coronavirus pandemic that has engulfed the world and threatened global health, Liberian Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has thanked Andrew Young Foundation and University Consortium for donating assorted medical supplies to the Ministry.

Andrew Young Foundation and University Consortium on Thursday, July 31, 2020, donated assorted medical consignment worth US$6,340.00 to the Ministry as their way of contributing towards the Country’s fight against the toxic virus.

Applauding the organizations for aiding the Ministry, Dr. Jallah said: Liberians in general have contributed immensely to the fight declare against the sporadic Coronavirus since its outbreak, which is a sign of patriotism. we appreciate your kind gesture! Your donations to the Ministry during this time of pandemic is a clear demonstration of patriotism and Nationalism,”

Since the Ministry last week embarked on drug supply across the fifteen Political Sub-division of the Country, the new medical consignment will be distributed to various treatment units throughout the Country in order to boost Coronavirus patient treatment.

In recent weeks, and even during this COVID-19 fight, Liberians as well as international partners have colossally contributed to the Ministry, something that has attracted the attention of the Health Minister.

Minister Jallah, who recounted precautionary and preventive measures earlier deployed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) to stamp out the virus, welcomed the Two humanitarian organizations for their timely intervention during these difficult periods.

Giving the importance of these predominant drugs (Selenase) stocked in the package, she explained: “Selenium is important for the body. The essential trace element protects organism from free radicals and is important for the thyroid gland. It improves the immune defense system and increases fecundity (productiveness). Selenium is involved in the activation of numerous enzymes.”

According to her, with the mineral found in the drugs, will help boost the immune system of people infected with the virus: “This drug also has mineral which is very key to fighting any virus, of which Coronavirus is of no exception. Correct dosing is key to achieving desired outcomes and preventing morbidity (disease) and mortality (death), but also varies across disease stages.”

At the same time, the Liberian Health Minister promised her Ministry’s willingness and readiness to go extra miles in heightening its responsibility to the people and to bring to an end the COVID-19 chapter.

MOH Launches National Nursing and Midwifery Policy and Plan for 2020-2025

The Ministry of Health (MoH) on July 23, 2020 officially launched the National Nursing and Midwifery policy and plan for 2020-2025 at the Ministry in Congo Town.

 “To contribute towards the achievement of the Ministry’s vision, this policy focuses on strengthening coordination, collaboration with the nursing and midwifery association, and health regulatory boards; and ensures the high quality of nursing and midwifery training practice. The Policy seeks to advocate for nurses and midwives employment and benefits on an equitable basis, strengthen the governance structure of the nursing and midwifery division and to continuously ensure quality of healthcare protocols and standards are adhered to by all Nurses and Midwives practicing in Liberia’’, the policy is quoted as saying.

According to the new health policy, this will further be enforced by the following principles: professionalism will be the hall mark of the National Nursing and Midwifery workforce compliance—implementation of the Nursing and Midwifery policy and plan will emphasize adherence to polices regulations, legislation, enforcement and local ordinances in the Republic of Liberia.

At the same time, the policy reiterates partnership and Coordination—broad based partnership at national county, district and community levels involving donors, NGOs, government agencies, private institutions and community will be forged in achieving the goal of this policy. A partnership coordination mechanism will be established to coordinate partners and advice on policy and technical issues and decentralization—the Ministry of Health ensures a systematic decentralization of Nursing and Midwifery activities in line with the MOH decentralization policy.

The Nursing and Midwifery Policy Document is to also offer legal and regulatory framework for Nurses and Midwives within the health sector and to create an enabling environment for Nurses and Midwives as well as the provision of quality health care delivery throughout the Republic of Liberia that is accessible to Situational Analysis: the situational analysis determined that Nurses and Midwives constitutes about 76% of the health workforce.

The practice of nursing and midwifery is committed to functional and collaboration relationship with other healthcare providers. Member of the profession share the responsibilities for leadership in the healthcare system, and are guided by ethical standards in the services to humanity. These professions determine the practice and control of their profession. With more than 70% of the health care providers being nurses and midwives, Liberia like all other countries in the world depends largely on them to run an effective and resilient healthcare system. The National health policy and plan (2007-2011, 2011-2021) further alluded to the need for skilled human resource as the backbone for a healthy and prosperous population. Therefore, in order to substantially improve the health status of the population, the Ministry of Health and partners led a participatory process of developing and establishing one holistic, evidence-based policy framework explicitly aimed at guiding decision makers through the next five years. The process included analyzing Nurses and Midwives situation in the Country.

The event, held under the theme, “Unlocking the Potential of Nurses and Midwives in Liberia”, brought together nurses, midwives as well as medical doctors.

In remarks, the keynote speaker of the launch, Elizabeth Sele Mulbah, who spoke on the occasion via zoom communication, stressed the need for a practical health culture that will appeal to the consciences of all Liberians and not health workers and professionals alone.

“If we must connect the power of evidence-based policy to achieve lasting change for everyone to have the chance to live as healthy a life as possible, we need public policy that will help to maximize access to quality and affordable health care, as well as create communities that are healthier and more inclusive in providing everyone with the opportunity to strive,” said Madam Mulbah.

She called on the Ministry and its employers to ensure that nurses and midwives in their employ carry current license. “Nurses and midwives, we need to set up a peer review committee to handle any and all discrepancies among us. Serve as a sounding board and bring colleagues to book whenever necessary.”

The former Vice-Chair of the Governance Commission added that if we are to benefit from continuing education, needs assessment is a must. Sending a nurse or midwife to a skills training workshop when his or her need is attitudinal change, becomes a waste of time and money.

“Achieving health for all will depend on sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and well-supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide,” she said.

She noted that in order to have well equipped nurses and midwives, the government and partners must support nurses and midwives.  The report of the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth concluded that investments in education and job creation in the health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security, and inclusive economic growth.

“We should come together to present a comprehensive budget to the government through the MOH each year, and only then would the left hand knows what the right hand is doing or receiving to assist each other in our training areas because we are a team, we can learn from each other and our patients will be better off”, she recommended.

Madam Mulbah urged nurses and midwives to remain composed as the current situation will not remain the same always.

Placing emphases on the selection of the Chief launcher of the occasion, Norwu Howard Deputy Health Minister for Administration indicated that madam Mulbah sees herself as one of the privileged few, with the challenges and responsibilities to promote the advancement of more women and girls in Liberia.

“She thinks women leaders are only given the opportunity to bring out their leadership quality that has been silent for years by culture and tradition; that women should not make the Mistakes by thinking they can do it alone—we must join men to work together as a team.

“Her perception for Liberia’s growth and development is something she would like to see emphases being placed on by building the capacity of the citizens and advancement in education, Health, food production and infrastructure, especially roads,” she disclosed.

World Bank Donates Ventilator To Liberia

The World Bank (WB) on July 23, 2020 donated 20 ventilators to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health (MOH) to boost Liberia’s preparedness in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in the Country, which amount to 24 ventilators in the Country.

The Bank made the donation to adequately prepare the country for the threat posed by the virus, especially if cases start to rise and more ventilators are required to aid patients’ recovery.

 “Timely provision of supplies is important to ensure that Liberia meets the targets established in its COVID-19 response plan,” said Sonpson B. Sieh, World Bank Technical Coordinator of Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Project. “To detect, diagnose, and treat COVID-19 cases, Liberia must have the necessary supplies of laboratory, medical and personal protective equipment.”

According to Sieh, the donation from the World Bank is geared toward ensuring that Liberian “lives are safe by building the health system in the Country.” The donation by the Bank is valued at US$699,500.

This, Sieh said, is part of the US$17 million budget that was given to the government by the World Bank, to respond to the fight against the virus and strengthen the country’s response to disease outbreaks and emergencies.

Its goals are to mitigate and contain the transmission of COVID-19, ensure adequate management of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and as well strengthen the laboratory network systems for COVID-19 detection and other infectious diseases.

Receiving the donation, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said the ventilators will be distributed to treatment units and major health facilities to ensure people of Liberia are safe.

Dispelling fears, the energetic Minister of Health said that the country has technicians who are trained to properly use and maintain the machines, terming the ventilators as none invasive and can be used for both adults and children.  

“We have 24 ventilators now in Liberia. We are doing very well as a country. These ventilators will be distributed to our treatment units and later to our major health centers to provide the necessary treatment for our people, “Dr. Jallah emphasized.

In conclusion, the Minister thanked World Bank and partners for contribution to Liberia’s fight against the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

Signed: _______________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication, MOH