Dr. Jallah Unveils State-of-the-Art Hospital In River Cess

(November 24, 2021, Gbediah Town, River Cess, Liberia)—the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, unveiled a state-of-the-Art modern referral hospital in Gbediah Town, River Cess Country.

The modernized hospital dedicated to the public is the only referral hospital in River Cess since its establishment and will increase access to quality healthcare, as guaranteed under the Universal Health Coverage. It was funded by the German Development Bank through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).

The initiative followed after fabrics of the country’s entire health sector was hit by Ebola in 2016. This crisis then exposed the limitation of the health system. Therefore, Welt Hunger Hife and the Ministry of Health designed the Ebola support program in Grand Gedeh, River Gee, and Sinoe counties. These multifaceted projects resulted in Welt Hunger Hife constructing over nine health facilities, including the River Cess District Referral hospital, for the government to structure and decentralized infrastructural health that would solidify and strengthen the provision of the quality health service delivery across the nation.

Actualization of this vision has brought in the construction of this modern Referral Hospital that contains a modern theater or operation room, an accidental emergency Unit, Surgical and medical walls, modern laboratories, offices for Doctors and nurses, waste management facilities, administrative buildings, and six houses to accommodate hospital staff. 

In addition, the hospital has running water system and 24 hours’ electricity that is powered by 70 kilo wax and 64 KVA solar generator.

The modernized River Cess District Referral Hospital is compared to other major health facilities like the JFK hospital, the Phebe referral hospital, among others. It will provide quality health services and alleviate difficulties faced by people in the county and its surroundings in access health services.

It was a colorful occasion, as Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah was joined by scores of government officials, local and traditional leaders as well as developmental partners to grace the occasion in that part of the country.

“We are all proud owners of this newly constructed hospital”, Dr. Jallah remarks during the occasion marking the official handing over of the hospital’s keys to its administrators. “I am delighted to be with you today to officially accept this hospital from Welt Hunger Hife on behalf of our President Dr. George Manneh Weah”.

With this 80 bedrooms being amongst several projects funded by the people and Government Germany, Dr. Jallah smartly acknowledged their roles in supporting Liberia’s health sector, which have led to its hybrid improvements and sturdy strengthening.

“Liberia’s Health Sector is, indeed, grateful to the German government, KfW and WHH for its continuous support. We have benefited in many ways from this partnership: we have health centers and clinics that have been completed,” Dr. Jallah.

Seeing it as a great feat annexed to improve the health condition of the South-east region, the Liberian energetic health Minister expressed conviction that the facility will radically improve the provision of quality of health service and infrastructure for patients and staff; not only in River Cess, but its neighboring counties, including Sinoe, Grand Gedeh and Grand Bassa Counties. “This will benefit us in immediate future”, Dr. Jallah.

Assuring the German government and Welt Hunger Hife’s genuine support and commitment towards the actualization and implementation of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development was the Country Director of Welt Hunger Hife-Liberia, Mr. Hubert Charles. He expressed gratitude to the Liberian government for exercising leadership and taking decisive action to support the implementation of the project that contributes significantly to the PAPD; not only by expanding access to essential health services but also to strengthen the Country’s health delivery system.

“Hon. Ministers, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, River Cess District Referral Hospital comprise amongst others the following: a modern operating theatre, an accidental emergency Unit, Surgical and medical walls, modern laboratories, offices for Doctors and nurses, etc,” Mr Charles explained.

The occasion was marked with signing of certificates. Deputy Health Minister for Administration, Norwu Howard, signed on behalf of the Liberia’s government while Hubert Charles signed on behalf of Welt Hunger Hife.

“I envision a hospital where people of around the world will travel to study tropical diseases and do research on communicable and non-communicable diseases; where our students, doctors and nurses will come and learn the act of caring for the sick. As I walk around the land, I imagine a sustaining facility where we can grow our own food and feel our patients.  My signature on these documents signifies our commitment to ensure we implement and adhere to standard capable for the full operation of this facility”, Minister Howard expressed after affixing her signature on the hospital’s document.

Signed: _____________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh             Director of Communications, MOH/R

Liberia COVID-19 Daily Sitrep 615 (November 20, 2021)

Summary of COVID-19 Cases by Reporting County, Liberia,
16 March 2020 – 20 November 2021

County   Confirmed Cumulative Cases
 Laboratory Confirmed CasesConfirmed Cases on Contact List 
Grand Bassa0095
Grand Cape Mount0057
Grand Kru0026
Grand Gedeh0039
River Gee0069

Summary of COVID-19 Deaths by Reporting County, Liberia,

16 March 2020 – 20 November 2021

CountyDAILY REPORT Cumulative Deaths
New Suspected Deaths Laboratory Confirmed DeathsConfirmed Deaths on Contact List 
COVID-19 Treatment UnitTotal in COVID-19 Treatment UnitHealth FacilityTotal in Health FacilityCommunityTotal in Community
Grand Bassa000060006
Grand Cape Mount000000000
Grand Gedeh000000000
Grand Kru000000000
River Gee001000001

Cadre Cases and Deaths by Health Care Workers
16 March 2020 – 20 November 2021 )

Health Care Worker CadreMontserradoMargibiNimbaRiver GeeSinoeGrand KruGbarpoluBongLofaGrand BassaMarylandBomiRivercessGrand Cape MountGrand GedehNational (Total)
Nurse Aid0000100000040000070300050000000290
Physician Assistants1011000100010000000000000000000131
Lab Technician1101020001010004020009010300000350
Environmental Health Technicians50000000000000000000000000000050
Hospital Cleaner100000000010000060100010200000120

Others include the following:

Radiologist, Microbiologist, Epidemiologist, Dispenser, Licensed Practical Nurse, Psychosocial worker, Hygienist, Logistician, Vaccinator, Ambulance Driver, Procurement Officer, Registrar, Accountant, Secretary, Hospital Administrator, Community Health Volunteer, GIS Specialist, EOC Coordinator, M&E Officer

MOH, Partners Rollout Private Sector Engagement Strategy

(Tuesday, November 9, 2021, Congo Town, Liberia)—the Ministry of Health and partners on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, rollout a two-year Private Sector Engagement Strategy, which is designed to structure engagement between the Ministry of Health and the private health sector. It seeks to strengthen the private sector’s contribution to achieve the nation’s health goals.

Even though engagement between the Ministry of Health and the private health sector has a long history, this strategy aims to structure collaboration and dialogue between the two parties to achieve common long-term objectives. It was drafted through series of consultations with stakeholders from across the Ministry of Health and within the private health sector. It also includes areas of collaboration identified as those of mutual interest to both sectors.

Serving as chief launcher of the strategy, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah outlined significant progress being made by the ministry under her watch relative to annexing smooth collaboration and coordination between both sectors.

“It is important we have this collaboration because the private sector is a major contributor to what’s happening in the government sector. If you don’t have a well-organized private sector, thing will be going but it’s will be going …”, Dr. Jallah asserted.

The private health sector has grown form 2 percent to 8 percent of total health expenditure over the 2015-2018 period. This shows that private health facilities in Liberia represent 37 percent of the national healthcare market and this representation increases to 80 percent in urban areas. The level of penetration of the private sector varies greatly by county, with most of the private health sector situated in Montserrado county. Any effective and sustained effort to leverage the private sector resents an opportunity for enhance access to quality services, particularly in urban areas where most of the private sector operates.

However, espousing on access to and choice of health services in which the Ministry should play a leadership role, the keynote of speaker of the day, Dr. Jabbeh, called the Ministry to create an enabling environment for private sector engagement.

“Recent the Ministry of met with the Health federation of Liberia. And so during that consultative process the Ministry of Health was able to set some key priority areas that would also align with the Ministry of Health’s vision, mission, the guidance principles and strategic goals and objectives.

“What is the role of each sector? For the Ministry of Health primary role is to provide oversight and execute this strategy, working in collaboration with HFL designated representatives,” remarks Dr. Jabbeh.

Giving importance of the launch was Minister George Jacobs: “we want to train health workers in the private sector so they can be on path with their colleagues in the public sector. So these things we are working on to see how to strengthen the private sector to achieve quality in the attainment of universal health coverage.

“Now that we have launched the private sector engagement strategy, moving forward it will provide us an opportunity for the private sector to help us in the health sector, so that we expand our scope of operations. We need the private sector if we should have a wider scope for family planning, among several other activities that are out there. They have a role to play—in the same that we need them they also need us,” Dr. Logan in closing remarks.

The keynotes speaker underscored the need for both parties to work together in the common interest of the Liberian, through the provision of quality healthcare services that would meet universal health benchmark.

Signed: _____________________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications, MOH, RL

MOH, Partners Launch National Malaria SBC Strategy

(Tuesday, November 9, 2021, Congo Town, Liberia)—the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with partners has officially launched a five-year National Malaria Social Behavior Change (SBC) Strategy, beginning 2021 to 2025.

The Liberia National Malaria Strategic plan (NSP) 2021-2025 redefines the strategic direction and focus of the Malaria program, including strengthening of management and coordination structure, health system, and capacities to achieve greater equality, coverage, quality, and more effective delivery of the interventions. In addition, the malaria NSP includes plan for preparedness and timely response during emergencies to ensure malaria control activities continue with minimal disruptions in an emergency (e.g., Ebola Virus Disease or coronavirus).

The launch which took place at the Ministry on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, gathering stakeholders from hybrid sectors, with both local and international organizations, including Global Fund, PCU, WHO, UNICEF, USAID/Breakthrough Action, amongst others, being in huge attendance.

As the first National Malaria Social Behavior Change Strategy for Liberia, this document is intended to guide all social and behavior change efforts supporting the objectives outlined in the NSP.

Calling on the public in general to change their behavior on the way they treat their surroundings was Deputy Health Minister for Administration, Hon. Norwu Howard: “We must change our behaviors on how we treat the places we live.”

The environmental factors such as the presence of bushes and stagnant water around homes were among few things the Deputy Minister spoke on; thereby encouraging the public to always clear their surroundings and use mosquitos net.

Though, there are several factors leading to the breeding of malaria across the nation, but with the coming in force of this Document, there will be room for improvement, according Oliver Pratt, Program Manager, National Malaria Control Program.

“Each of the stated SBC priority areas involves a range of actors within the Government of Liberia and external partners. SBC efforts can only realize their full potential for improving results with improved coordination at the national and sub-national levels. A shared agenda for SBC and clarity on the roles and responsibilities are critical to effectively implementing this strategy and fully achieving the objectives.

“while the NMCP is responsible for providing leadership, coordination, and strategic direction for operationalization of the strategy, effective collaboration with other multi-sectoral stakeholders at all levels will ensure strategy implementation and scale-up results in high-quality malaria prevention, care, and treatment efforts across Liberia. Through regular coordination meetings, message harmonization efforts, information sharing, joint monitoring, and other coordination efforts, the SBC efforts outlined in this strategy will reach the outlined objectives. Therefore, this strategy aligns with the coordination plan outlined and discussed in the National Malaria Strategic Plan 2021-2025. In addition, it is expected that all stakeholders, implementing partners, and donors will actively participate in providing technical and funding support as appropriate and support the implementation of the SBC interventions to support congruent thematic areas as outlined in the National Malaria Strategy Plan 202-2025, the National Communication Strategy (2016-2021), the National Health Promotion Policy and Plan,” Mr Pratt giving overview of the New National Malaria SBC Strategy (2021-2025).

 However, in remarks was also Breakthrough Action’s Chief of Party Dr Saratu Olabode-Ojo, who explained the positive impacts being made by the US organization in twelve of Liberia’s fifteen Counties, particularly in the
health sector.

“Breakthrough Action is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) flagship social and behavior change (SBC) project by Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. The project will be implemented in Liberia from April 2020 to March 2022.

“Breakthrough Action works collaboratively in Liberia with the Ministry of Health at the national and subnational levels and in complementarity to relevant USAID implementing partners. The project is designed to: improve the effectiveness of SBC, implement high-quality SBC activities that will result in improved demand and use of health services for malaria; maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH); nutrition; family planning/ reproductive health (FP/RH); adolescent health (AH); and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); and support informed communities engaging in behaviors to prevent zoonotic and non-zoonotic infections in line with the global health security Agenda (GHSA)”, Dr. Olabode-Ojo.

Finally, in separate remarks, speakers representing diverse organizations pledged their commitment in supporting the new document launched for the provision and delivery of quality healthcare to the public.

Signed: ______________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication