After Completing 8-Week-Long Training: MOH Biomedical Technicians Certificated

(August 19, 2021, Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia)—the capacity of human resource building is among few things Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has prioritized since her takeover at the helm of power at the country’s health sector, especially the Ministry of Health.

Leaving this not unnoticed, several Counties Health Biomedical technicians has been certificated after participating in an eight-week-long biomedical training course.

The biomedical technicians certificated on August 19, 2021, were trained to enhance biomedical activities at various county’s levels across the country.

Some major topics were covered during the BMET training course are: first aid, electrical safety on medical equipment, use of test equipment defibrillator, syringe pump, maintenance and repair of medical equipment, IPC (hygiene), safety in the hospital, oxygen to patients, handling of oxygen cylinders, electronic (circle analysis, troubleshooting, etc.), how to contact equipment manufactural for service manuals, spare parts, software, etc.

However, Liberian Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, during the certification ceremony, reaffirmed her leadership’s commitment and dedication to ensuring that the Ministry’s Biomedical Department and all other departments are compared to none in the sub-region, with every county team in the country having well equipped biomedical technicians.

Dr. Jallah Making remarks at the ceremony

“Preparing technicians at all levels of the Country’s health sector, especially at various public health facilities, is something that we are committed to doing before leaving the Ministry’s—remember no will forever remain here as Minister”, she said with excitement.

Dr. Jallah used the occasion to appreciate Mercy and partners as well as participants for making the training a success.

For her part, the Deputy Minister for Administration, Hon. Norwu Howard stressed the importance for beneficiaries of the training exercise to serve as ambassadors in their respective counties: “today, you have been trained and we encourage to be light in your respective counties for the good of our people”

Min. Howard Certificating participant

The Deputy Ministry voiced out that as an administer of the Ministry dream has to see tangibles or productivities at various departments, even at the county levels.

“We are agents of the President, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, and the government. Our technicians here today, it is our responsibility to do best to seeing this achieve its agenda”, Hon. Howard Remarks.

Min. Howard Inspecting Biomedical tools

Earlier, Annick Sylvestre, Mercy Ships Operations Coordinator lauded Ministry of Health and partners for affording them the opportunity to country’s health sector and promised to always contribute to the sector when the space is provided.

Giving an overview of the project, Wymah S. Youyoubon, Director of Healthcare Technology Management Unit at the Ministry of Health said: “When Madam Minister and her team took over years ago, I briefed her about the importance of the Unit and the way forward. And she gave me the blessings. Today, we have technicians who are going to increase the levels of productivity at various county levels across the country”.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Comfort Zowulu expressed thanks and appreciation to the Ministry and its partners, particularly the Director of  the HTMU, for providing them the space to acquire such insightful knowledge.

“On behalf of my colleagues, I want to say plenty thanks to the Ministry of Health, Mercy Ships, our teachers and even the Director of the Biomedical Unit for providing us this opportunity. We will use this tool and knowledge acquired to contribute and improve the health sector,” Madam Zowulu noted.

Signed: _____________________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications, MOH, R.L

MOH, Partners Observe World Breastfeeding Week

(August 18, 2021, 14 Street, Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia)—the Ministry of Health (MOH) and its partners on August 18, 2021 joined the world to observe the day commemorating celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.

The World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration held every year from August 1 to 7 in over 120 countries. The World Health Organization states breastfeeding as one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. This year, the theme for breastfeeding week is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”.

World Breastfeeding week is celebrated to encourage exclusive breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

Panelists sharing thoughts with participants

The history of this week-long commemoration dates back to the 1990s when the World Health Organization (         WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) created the Innocent Declaration to promote and support breastfeeding.

The elaborate program held at the Royal Grant Hotel gathered participants from diverse backgrounds, who shared thoughts and made recommendations to stakeholders within the health sector as well as legislators to ignite breastfeeding policies and social change to stop giving water to babies under six (6) months. It also provided field agents and decision makers the opportunity to catalyze much-needed policy, social, institutional, community and family dialogue and change geared towards improving breastfeeding rates in Liberia.  Seeing exclusive breastfeeding as a public health priority to improve the health and prosperity of children and nations was among few things highlighted.

Participants at the Event

Meanwhile, the Director of Family Health Division, Madam Bentoe Z. Tehoungue said: “some of us at this age we can still calculate, reason, and even still having teeth in our mouth; and I know, it is the contribution of breastmilk. So we want to encourage those who are now having children to be able to breastfeed their children. Breastmilk is the best milk for your babies. And we all need to encourage other people who are having children today to give their children breastmilk.”

Director of Family Health Division, Madam Bentoe Z. Tehoungue

“Breastfeeding is also known as nursing. It is the best way to provide young infants with the essential nutrients required for growth and development. Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean, and acts as the babies’ first vaccines protecting them against many common childhood illnesses. I am grateful that this week-long celebration is held in my county—Montserrado”, Dr. Yatta Wapoe, County Health Officer (CHO) of Montserrado Health Team, said in remarks.

Dr. Yatta Wapoe, County Health Officer (CHO) of Montserrado Health Team

For her part, Ministry of Health’s Director of Nutrition Dr. Annette Brima-Davis said her Division is doing everything possible to increase and promote messages on breastfeeding in order to educate the public in general.

She highlighted that the overarching goal of the week-long celebration is to highlight the importance of breastfeeding, to encourage and promote exclusive breastfeeding and to improve the health of babies and mothers all across the country.

Ministry of Health’s Director of Nutrition Dr. Annette Brima-Davis

“Breastfeeding promote better health for mothers and children alike. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and health diseased breastfeeding could avert 20,000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer,” she highlighted.

 “As we begin the World Breastfeeding Week celebration, my satisfaction is all greater at this event once again demonstrates our common and unwavering commitment to join forces to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the fulfilment of every child’s right to health survival and development”, Dr. Gorbee G. Logan, Assistant Minister of Curative Health Services at the Ministry of Health, remarking on behalf of the Liberian government and the Ministry.

Dr Logan said significant efforts have been made in recent years by the government of Liberia with the support of UNICEF and partners to improve maternal and child nutrition; despite the current progress made, one-third of the children in Liberia suffer from chronic malnutrition.

Dr. Gorbee G. Logan, Assistant Minister of Curative Health Services

“Breastfeeding gives all children the healthiest start in life. Breastmilk acts as a first vaccine, stimulates brain development and protects women’s health. When a mother breastfeeds, everyone benefits. Breastfeeding leads to lower healthcare cost and healthier family, and a smarter workforce.

Today, it is sadden to know that, six out of ten babies are initiated on breastmilk within an hour of birth.  Four out of every ten babies in Liberia receives plain water, liquids and food in addition to breastmilk during their first six months of life, contributing to child malnutrition, illnesses and even death. Only 3% of children, age 6 to 23 months receive an adequate food,” he noted.

Dr. Logan said, given the theme for this year celebration ‘“Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”, the day should engineer a collective responsibility of everyone to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding to improve the survival rate and early childhood development of children.

He thanked participants as well as partners including UNICEF, Concern Worldwide, WHO, WFP, Action Against Hunger, Water Aid, and SUNCSAL for continuous support and contribution towards the country’s health sector.

Signed: ___________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication

           Ministry of Health, R.L.

Press Statement

(August 12, 2021, Congo Town, Monrovia)—the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) attention has been drawn to a fake information circulating in the public glare concerning an individual who life was lost after being vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

This information is a complete fabrication and far from the truth.

The vaccine has been deemed safe by numerous regulatory bodies including the WHO and US FDA.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health wants those who are in the constant habit of spewing out fake and misleading information about the vaccines to desist.

However, the Ministry is encouraging all those who have not been vaccinated to take advantage of the ongoing J&J immunization process, as we await the arrival of the second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccines. Those eligible for the J&J Vaccines are only those who have not taken the AstraZeneca Vaccines.


Signed: _________________________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication

           Ministry of Health, R.L

MOH, Partners To Observe World Breastfeeding Day

(August 12, 2021, Congo Town, Liberia) As part of efforts to ignite breastfeeding policies and social change to stop giving water to babies under six (6) months, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and its partners will Monday, August 18, 2021, observe World Breastfeeding Day.

The program will be held at the Royal Grand Hotel under the theme “Protect Breastfeeding a Shared Responsibility”.

The breastfeeding week celebration aims to catalyze much-needed policy, social, institutional, community and family dialogue and change geared towards improving breastfeeding rates in Liberia. It calls on governments, partners and businesses in Liberia to take action and position exclusive breastfeeding as a public health priority to improve the health and prosperity of children and nations.

Meanwhile, the celebration is also expected to call on stakeholders, partners, businesses, communities and families to ensuring mothers get the protection and support they need to give their babies the best start in life.

Five out of every 10 babies in Liberia receive plain water, other liquids and foods in addition to breastmilk during their first six months of life, contributing to child malnutrition, illnesses and even death.

 “Having a comprehensive national strategy that protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding is the most effective way to influence the environmental, social, economic and behavioral factors that influence a mother’s decision to feed a child breastmilk only in the first six months of life,” Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Minister of Health in Liberia.

For babies under six months to stay healthy, scientific evidence recommends giving them breastmilk only and on demand (day and night). No water, other liquids or foods should be given from the moment of birth until they reach six months of life, even in hot and dry climates, as breastmilk contains all the water and nutrients a baby needs to grow well.

Breastfeeding also has significant benefits for mothers by hastening recovery after childbirth, delaying the return of the menstrual cycle thus helping with birth spacing, and reducing the risk of cancer.

The costs of not breastfeeding are enormous: in addition to thousands of preventable deaths of children, it costs Liberia US$200,000 dollars annually to treat children with diarrhoea and pneumonia and type II diabetes in mothers that visit health facilities due to inadequate breastfeeding. Liberia stands to lose more than US$14 million a year due to future cognitive losses associated with not breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding is a team effort, governments, families, religious and community leaders, need to consistently advocate for increased maternity and respect for breastfeeding by employers including those in the private sector, and for the establishment of clean and secure spaces near workplaces where breastfeeding mothers can breastfeed,” said Laila Omar, UNICEF Representative in Liberia.

Signed: ___________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication

           Ministry of Health, R.L.

MOH, Partners Roll Out J&J Vaccines

(Paynesville, Liberia, August 5, 2021)—the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and its partners on Thursday, August 05, 2021, officially started administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the Paynesville City Hall in Montserrado Country.

Recently, the Ministry received a donation of 302,400 Doses of the J&J COVID-19 Vaccinesfrom the United States Government through the COVAX facility in collaboration with the African Union and the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention in order to curb further spread of the global pandemic.

With this, several personalities including current and past governments’ officials, local and international partners as well as Liberians trooped in during the event to take doses of their vaccines.

However, Liberian Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Foreign Affairs Minister, Dee Maxwell Kemayah, USAID Mission Director, Jim Wright; and CDC Country Director to Liberia, Dr. Rachel Idowu, graced the occasion.

The Ministry has designated the Monrovia City Hall, Paynesville city Hall, Barnesville Town, GSA Compound and a host of facilities to administer the vaccines. It will also be administered at some market sites including the Waterside Market, Red Light General Market, Goba-chop, Jacob Town Market, Redemption Hospital, Jukpen Town, ELWA Market, Duala Market, Kuwait Market, Clara Town, Old Road, Poultry Market (Red Light community) and the VOA Market in Brewerville, Duport Road Market, Rehab Market, Rally Town, Roto Town Market, Pepperwood Town Market, Barnesville Market and 72nd Market.

During the colorful event, Dr. Jallah thanked President George Manneh Weah for providing her the opportunity to serve the country and at the same time applauded the public for constantly following all of the health protocols instituted by the government as a way of combating the fight against the virus: “It is a great day to see this huge attendance for this launch. We want to say thanks for coming.” Saying, “to the citizens of Liberia and the general public, we want to say thank you very much. You are helping in the reduction of the spread of the virus in the country.

The Health Ministry, with excitement, said no strategic work in any given environment of such when the people are not heavily involved: “We are all part of this process, this reduction we are seeing gradually over the past days. We must admit. We saw social distancing, masks wearing, washing of hands, etc. thanks for job well done.”

Dr. Jallah admonished the public in general to continue on the good footing “because the fight is not over yet. You have to come for the vaccination wherever you are because we are expected to vaccinate over 300,000 persons with this J&J vaccine.”

Hence, all persons 18 years and above are eligible for the J&J COVID-19 Vaccines, including Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, people with medical conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, etc.).

The Minister informed the public that a new batch of 96,000 AstraZeneca vaccines is expected to arrive in the country this week and called on people who have taken the first dose and are awaiting the second not to panic but wait for the vaccines’ arrival.

Signed: _____________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communication

            Ministry of Health