“No Ebola In Liberia”

(Monrovia, Liberia, February 26, 2021)—The Health Minister of the republic of Liberia, Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has clarified that there is no case of Ebola presently in the country.

Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah made the clarification Friday, February 26, 2021, during an emergency press briefing at the Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).

The Minister said though there are confirmed death and cases of the virus in neighboring Guinea, but as of today there were eight (8) suspected cases of the virus in the country came back with negative results.

“In Liberia, there were eight (8) alerts that faced the cases examination which they were all tested; they were all negative”, she disclosed

The Minister explained further that recently there were additional two suspected cases of the noxious virus which came back with negative results, again.

“Recently, we received two other alerts of those cases that did not face the cases definition, so we have no case in Liberia. As we stand, as of today, Friday, February 26, 2021, there is no case of Ebola in Liberia”, she emphasized.

On other front, Dr. Jallah told Journalists at the press conference that the global community is still combating the fight against coronavirus pandemic; as such, global togetherness is the remedy to conquering this fight. 

“There are over 112 million plus people that are being infected around the world. The death rate is over 2 million people. In Africa today, 3.8 million people have suffered from COVID-19 and 102000 persons have also lost their lives.

“Presently in Liberia, we have one new case, bringing our total confirmed cases to 2010 confirmed cases; recovery is at 1882; hence, we have no body in treatment unit, but we have people in home base care”, Dr. Jallah explained.

she used the occasion to encourage Liberians to seek their coronavirus test at the COVID-19 testing center located on the Sophia road in Monrovia, in order to know their coronavirus test status. And travelers who are traveling to other countries should observe all health protocols of those countries to avoid future embarrassment.

“We continue our testing at the Union Center on the Sophia road; so we advise, if you are traveling please make sure of the guidelines of the Country you are going to”, she advised

Responding to the Country’s preparedness in combating any pandemic, Dr. Jallah said Liberia had experience from previous outbreaks and lessons learned from those outbreaks prepared the country to combat coronavirus; therefore, all stringent measures have been instituted to face any outbreak.

The Minister was accompanied by the Program Manager on Immunization of the Ministry of Health, Adolphus Clarke, who called citizens and residents of the Country to serve as ambassadors in educating their respective communities on the pending nationwide vaccination exercises.

The Ministry and her partners are expected to carryout vaccination on polio, typhoid, coronavirus and other infectious disease in the length and birth of the Country.

The Ministry is expected to receive the first 384 thousand doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Liberia which will be arriving in the country in the soonest possible time. The coronavirus vaccination will commence two weeks after its arrival to create more education and awareness across the country, according to Manager Clarke.

This vaccination will target greater proportion of the country’s population, beginning with Health Care workers, the executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary branches of government; the Military and para Military, marketers, and wider range of sections of the population between 70 to 75%.

On the other hand, Mr. Clarke told scores of Journalists at the news conference that the vaccination of children between ages of zero to fifty-nine will run from March 12 to 15, targeting 972,870. “For Liberia we are hoping to reach 27039 children”, said the EPI Program Manager.

In conclusion, he said, Typhoid vaccination will run from the 24th to 28th of March, targeting over one million persons throughout the country.

He admonished journalists to initiate the John Baptist’s role in disseminating these vital information relative to the pending vaccination processes. 

Signed: ________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication, MOH, RL

Information on Polio in Liberia

  • Liberia and Africa were officially certified as free from Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in August 2020 by WHO, an incredible milestone in global polio eradication campaign
  • In 2021 another type of polio virus called cVDPV (Circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus) is causing polio outbreaks in 18 countries of Africa
  • As of January 2021, all three countries bordering Liberia – Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Guinea – have reported polio outbreaks and over 100 children being paralyzed for life
  • Laboratory tests of environmental samples have already confirmed the presence of cVDPV type of polio virus circulating in Monrovia in December 2020
  • Liberia is at an immediate risk of a cVDPV polio outbreak and Liberian children are at an urgent risk of contracting this incurable disease

Polio in the World

  • COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted immunization around the world, including Liberia. From March to July 2020, 60 polio vaccination campaigns in 28 countries were suspended
  • Polio campaigns were suspended to protect communities and staff from COVID-19 impacting polio eradication efforts and increasing transmission of the disease
  • Rumors and misconceptions surrounding all vaccines, including Covid, have spread vaccine hesitancy globally including in Liberia with refusals noted among some communities
  • Africa is most seriously affected, but cVDPV outbreaks are also ongoing in the Middle East and Southeast Asia
  • In 2020 globally, over 900 polio cases were reported which is a substantial increase from 249 cases reported in 2019.
  • Polio is one of the only three diseases classified as a public health emergency of international concern along with Ebola and COVID-19 pandemic. Detection of polio is a Public Health Emergency in any country, including Liberia.

Action in Liberia

  • Based on laboratory results confirming the circulation of cVDPV polio virus in Liberia, the Government of Liberia has declared a Public Health Emergency for cVDPV polio outbreak
  • With support from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which includes WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, CDC and Rotary, the Ministry of Health plans to conduct two rounds of house-to-house polio nationwide campaign with an aim of vaccinating at least 95% children aged 0-5 years while observing COVID19 protocols to ensure vaccinators, health workers and communities adhere to COVID19 precautions and are protected from COVID19.
  • With support from partners, the Ministry of Health will conduct trainings for vaccinators and other health workers on polio immunization and COVID19 precautions such as wearing of masks, keeping a safe distance and frequent handwashing with soap and clean water. In addition, personal protective equipment such as masks will be provided to all health workers participating in the polio campaign
  • To better address ongoing outbreaks of type 2 cVDPV, as recommended by WHO, the Ministry of Health plans to deploy an additional outbreak response tool, the novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2), which is clinically proven to reduce the risk of cVDPV and is specifically designed to protect children from the only type of poliovirus that remains in Liberia

About Polio, cVDPV and nOPV2

  • Polio virus, both WPV and cVDPV, cause lifelong paralysis in children under 5 years of age
  • There is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented with two drops of the polio vaccine
  • The best protection against polio is ensuring all children are vaccinated during routine and supplementary immunization campaigns, and maintaining strong disease surveillance
  • Millions of doses of polio drops have been administered throughout the world and have saved millions of children from paralysis
  • All vaccines for children are safe even if a child is suffering from fever, cough, or diarrhea. Polio vaccine is also safe for newborns, even if they have been born a few hours ago. 
  • Polio vaccine has little to no side effects and can be given multiple times to boost immunity against the polio virus
  • If a population is optimally immunized with polio vaccines, it will be protected from all types of polio including WPV and cVDPV
  • cVDPV occurs when weakened strain of the poliovirus contained in the oral polio vaccine (OPV) circulates among under-immunized population for a long time
  • cVDPV outbreaks are stopped using same tactics that enabled progress against WPV polio, ensuring every child is given oral polio vaccine in high-quality immunization campaigns
  • nOPV2 is a safe and effective polio vaccine that has been in development for over 10 years and has been thoroughly tested in adults, children and infants across multiple countries
  • nOPV2 has been approved by the Ministry of Health and is recommended by WHO for use in controlling polio outbreaks

Public and Media Support

  • Share accurate information with the public based on this page to ensure parents are aware of the risk from polio and seek vaccination for their children
  • Counter rumors and misinformation whenever identified, without repeating the rumors, through facts and correct information on this page
  • Report rumors and misinformation to Ministry of Health at (vaccines@moh.gov.lr) so that it can be immediately responded to and stop the spread of harmful behaviors
  • Refrain from exacerbating or repeating rumors and misinformation which can result in violence against health workers
  • Maintain ethical reporting standards by protecting identities of persons infected with the disease to prevent stigmatization of patients and their families
  • Inform your families and communities about protecting themselves from contracting polio by getting vaccinated
  • Inform people to seek medical help if their child or a child in their community is suffering from sudden paralysis of one or multiple limbs
  • Post on Facebook, write stories, run radio messages and hold TV or radio talk shows to create awareness on the disease and encourage parents to immunize their children against polio
  • Use your organization’s or employer’s social media to distribute accurate information with the public based on this document so that parents in Liberia are aware of the risk from polio virus
  • Counsel and encourage parents who refuse the polio vaccine and convince them to vaccinate their children, so that their own child and other children in the community can remain safe
  • Encourage vaccinators and parents to observe all COVID preventive measures; always wash your hands with soap and clean water, wear face masks and continue social distancing
  • Encourage parents and caregivers to always take their children to the nearest Health Facility so their children can be vaccinated against all vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Reach out to Ministry of Health (vaccines@moh.gov.lr) for accurate information, clarifications interviews and support for stories

Key Messages to Use

(Approved for use by anyone and on all mediums)

  • All children in Liberia under aged 0-5 years are at an immediate risk of contracting another type of polio virus
  • Tests have confirmed that this type of polio virus is already circulating in Monrovia
  • Polio cases have already been reported in Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Guinea
  • There is an urgent need to ensure all children aged 0-5 years are protected against polio by giving them two drops of the polio vaccine
  • Polio is a dangerous disease that has no cure and can only be prevented through multiple doses of polio vaccine
  • Polio vaccine requires multiple doses to achieve complete immunity and ensure the child’s full protection from polio; multiple dozes of the polio vaccine pose no harm to children
  • The best protection against polio is ensuring all children are vaccinated during routine and supplementary immunization campaigns
  • The Ministry of Health will conduct two-rounds of house-to-house national polio immunization campaign, dates will be announced shortly
  • All children aged 0-5 years must be vaccinated against polio with two drops of polio vaccine during the two rounds of national house-to-house polio immunization campaigns
  • The polio vaccine is free, safe and effective to protect children in Liberia from the remaining type of polio
  • Polio vaccine is given in the mouth of the child and only protects children from polio, children need other vaccines to be protected from other diseases
  • Polio drops have successfully protected millions of children around the world from polio for decades, and continuous protection is needed
  • Polio drops have safely eradicated the wild poliovirus in Liberia and other countries such as United States, United Kingdom and France.
  • Polio vaccine is recommended for use in Liberia by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health because it can provide continuous, urgently needed protection against the remaining type of poliovirus
  • Polio vaccine been clinically shown to be a safe option for vaccination against the remaining type of polio

Polio Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Polio?

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus, a virus which affects mostly children under the ages of 5. It has no cure, causes lifelong paralysis in children, and in some cases, it can cause death. The only way to protect children is to give them two drops of the oral polio vaccine.

2. Liberia and Africa in general was recently declared polio free, can you explain why we have an outbreak in the country despite the polio free certification?

There are two types of polio, the wild polio virus (WPV) and vaccine-derived polio (cVDPV). Africa and Liberia eradicated WPV type of polio, WPV remains only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Liberia currently has an active outbreak with cVDPV virus confirmed in Monrovia, and over 100 cases confirmed in neighboring countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire.

cVDPV polio outbreaks occur when the weakened strain of the polio virus contained in the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) circulates in under-immunized communities for a long time. While Liberia has been declared free from WPV, a lot of children remain at risk of cVDPV type of polio due to the low immunization rates in Liberia and the neighboring countries.

3. Why are we reporting cases of the vaccine-derived polio in Liberia?

Vaccine-derived polio (cVDPV) continues to circulate due to the low routine and polio immunization vaccination rates in Liberia and other countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the already low routine and supplementary polio immunizations rates in the country as most activities were put on hold.

Many parents and caregivers did not immunize their children for fear of leaving their houses due to COVID-19. Rumors and misconceptions around vaccines especially Covid Vaccine created fear in communities hence people did not immunize their children.

The outbreak can also be attributed to importation from neighboring countries and poor hygiene and sanitation in the country. Liberia is amongst 18 African countries that have reported cVDPV polio outbreaks in 2021.

4. How is cVDPV polio transmitted?

cVDPV is transmitted through the oral-fecal route from one person to another. The weakened virus is excreted through feces after a child is vaccinated and could easily spread in places with poor hygiene, sanitation, open defecation and overcrowding. This weakened virus can also transmit when water, food or fingers get contaminated by stool containing the weakened virus.

5. Who is at risk of contracting polio?

Due to the low immunization rates in the country, all children aged below 5 years are at high risk especially unvaccinated children or children with low immunity. The best protection against polio is ensuring all children are vaccinated during routine and supplementary immunization campaigns. If a child is optimally immunized with polio vaccines, he/she will be protected from both all types of polio.

6. Why is it important to immunize children again and again with the polio vaccine?

Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) requires multiple doses to achieve complete immunity in the child and ensure the child’s full protection from polio. Receiving multiple dozes of the polio vaccine poses no harm to your child and is completely safe for children.

7. Will the Ministry of Health use the same vaccine that is causing the polio outbreak to stop the outbreak?

With recommendation from WHO, the Ministry of Health plans to use nOPV2 polio vaccine to stop the polio outbreak. This vaccine is clinically proven to be safe and more effective at reducing the risk of cVDPV.

8. How do we know the vaccine against polio is safe?

Polio vaccine is the safest way to protect children from the remaining type of polio. Polio vaccine in Liberia is pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure safety and effectiveness. The vaccines are supplied through UNICEF nationwide for both routine immunization and during immunization campaigns.

Polio vaccine is safe even if the child is suffering from fever, cough, or diarrhea, and is also safe for newborns as young as a few hours old. Polio vaccine has little to no side effects and can be safely given to children multiple times. Countries like the United States, United Kingdom and France used polio vaccine to eradicate polio and protected millions of children from paralysis.

9. How does the Ministry of Health plan to vaccinate all eligible children in the country?

Through two rounds of house-to-house polio campaigns throughout the country, the MoH plans to vaccinate 95% children aged 0-5 years while strictly observing COVID19 protocols to ensure children, vaccinators, health workers and communities are protected.

11. How will the ministry ensure safety of community, health workers and children from COVID19 during the house-to-house polio campaign?

All vaccinators and health workers who will be engaged in the polio vaccination campaign will strictly adhere to the COVID19 protocols by wearing masks, keeping a safe distance while in the communities and frequently washing hands with soap and water.

Ministry of Health also urges the public to adhere to all COVID-19 protective measures and support health workers by presenting all children under the ages of 5 for vaccination whenever a polio team arrives.

12. What impact do COVID-19, rumors, misconceptions and disinformation have on the polio campaigns?

COVID-19 rumors and misconceptions have affected routine immunization services as well as polio campaigns all over the world, including in Liberia. Restrictions of movements due to COVID-19 and dissemination of false information regarding vaccines are some of the reasons that we currently have an outbreak in Liberia.

The Ministry of Health would like to reiterate that the polio vaccine is safe and has been used to avert paralysis in millions of children globally. The Ministry would also like to urge to the public to desist from spreading false information and encourages health workers, community influencers, the media and health experts to counter rumors by providing accurate information to the public.

12. What is nOPV2 and why is it being used?

nOPV2 is a type of polio vaccine that has been in development for over 10 years and has been thoroughly tested in adults, children and infants across multiple countries. It has been declared safe and effective by the Ministry of Health and is recommended for use in polio outbreaks by WHO around the world. It is the most recommended vaccine to control the remaining type of polio virus that is still circulating in Liberia. It is given as 2 drops in a child’s mouth and protects children from polio virus. It can be safely given multiple times to all children under the ages of 5, including newborns or children who have fever, diarrhea, or cough.

“Suspected Ebola Case Tested Negative”

((Monrovia, Liberia, January 22, 2021)—Rumors speculating in the public glare of resurfacing of Ebola virus in the country has met serious resistance from Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and her team of experts, as she clarifies the none existence of the noxious disease in the Country.

Reacting to the situation on Friday, February 19, 2021, Dr Jallah said report circulating in the public, especially on social media and other media outlets of a confirmed case in the Country, is false and misleading; instead the suspected case was tested negative.

Addressing a news conference at the Ministry of Information, Minister Jallah beseeched Liberians to stop panicking; hence, they should take all proactive preventive measures prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO) and health authorities in the Country; so as to avoid contracting any disease.

Earlier, Liberia’s Health Authorities, by directive of H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, instituted preventive health protocols to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus by taking precautionary methods, such as social distancing, wearing a mask, avoiding crowded areas, and frequent hands washing with clean water and soap.

To enforce President Weah’s Mandate of providing maximum stringent measures which is aimed at heightening  the country’s EPI- surveillance and preventative activities in the wake of reports of the resurgence of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in neighboring Guinea, Dr Jallah told newsmen that all borders neighboring Guinea are being monitored by joint security apparatus  to include the Liberian National Police (LNP), Liberia’s Immigration Service (LIS), the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and  the Country’s Health Authorities

At the same time, Dr. Jallah used the occasion to thank all Health Care Workers for the services they are rendering to serve the nation and people.

” I want to say congratulation and a very big thank you to our Health Care Workers for doing what they do best in taking care of the Liberian people. They have been vigilant in spite of the COVID-19; they are all doing their best that they can. Thank you for the great job you are doing” she said.

Dr. Jallah also appealed to those health workers who are yet to receive their hazard’s benefits to exercise patience by avoiding the sun through protestation which is not healthy for them because lot of their colleagues have been paid.

The Ministry is consistently working with the Ministry of Finance to urgently remedy the situation. 

The Minister, however, conclusively revealed that Liberia now has a DNA machine which was promised by H.E Dr. George M. Weah.

“We also want to bring you the good news that the DNA machine which the President spoke about has finally arrived, and it’s currently at the Ministry of Health. we will be unveiling it in the soonest possible time.” Dr. Jallah stated.

Signed: _____________________________________

                  Felecia Gbesioh

                  Director of Communication, MOH, RL 

Min. Jallah Declares Polio Outbreak As National Public Health Emergency

(Monrovia, Liberia, February 4, 2021)—the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, has issued a statement declaring polio outbreak within the Country as a ‘National Public Health Emergency.’

The bold move by the Minister followed after a detection of polio virus types two by the National Surveillance System, which has spread throughout the Country from two different environmental sites in Monrovia.

The detection of these isolated viruses in Monrovia have spread throughout the Country. Experience from other countries in Africa and around the world had shown that responding as soon as the virus is detected in an environment, swift intervention is needed to curtail its further spread.

As a result, the Ministry on February 4, 2021, declared the virus sporadic outbreak as a National Health Emergency.

“In line with WHO and the communities for Polio and the International Health Regulation of 2005, recommendations as that in such a case, action supposed to be taken to curtail its further spread; therefore, I am officially declaring this event as a National Public Health Emergency. This means that number one, we have to continue to monitor the situation within the Country; and the second, most important thing we have to do is to interrupt the spread of this polio virus and go back to try and eradicate it,” she declared.

Under the National Polio Emergency, Minister Jallah declared immediate measures that include door-to-door polio vaccination campaign in every community across the Country; monitoring the situation within the country to beef up the fight against polio.

In remarks at a news conference on February 4, 2021, the energetic Minister of Health promised that her administration would move with deliberate speed in ensuring that children from zero to fifty-nine-month old are vaccinated and registered for national birth certification.

 “This exercise will be a door-to-door because we do not have to miss any child. We will be going from door-to-door making sure that each child is vaccinated in your home. There will be a lot more coverage on it so you can know when we coming and who will be coming to your homes. Coupled with that exercise, we want to make sure that children births are registered. So this will us be the opportunity to be able to register all of the children and make sure that they have birth certificates. So two things that will be done: we will make sure kids are protected and vaccinated, and then we will make sure that the birth is registered.”

Dr Jallah urged all Liberians, babies’ mothers as well as local and international stakeholders to work with the Ministry to defeat the spread of the virus in the Country.

“This virus being circulating within the public about a year so we are ready to move things forward quickly to protected the Children. So therefore, all of our teams are ready and we want to bring it to the public officially to let them know that this virus is in the country and the action that will be taken going forward,” she concluded.

Signed: _____________________________________________

                  Felecia Gbesioh

                  Director of Communication, MOH, RL

DKT Int’l Donates Medical Consignment To MOH

(Monrovia, Liberia, February 3, 2021)—the Ministry of Health has received a donation of assorted medical consignments from DKT international to aid sexual and reproductive health in Liberia.

DKT international is one of the world’s largest providers of contraception and safe abortion products in mitigating the impending effects of COVID-19 on global access to contraceptives by adopting necessary preventive measures.

The assorted medical supplies which are to be available for free services at the public facilities within Liberia include: 2, 500 MVA kits, 15, 000 MM combi kit (combo), and 15,000 Miso-fem (Misoprostol).

These supplies are intended to reduce preventative deaths by securing abortion care services at public facilities

While presenting the donation to Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, DKT Liberia Country Manager, Antonio Cazares Turcott said, considering the recent global health crisis, his organization is grateful to aid sexual and reproductive health in Liberia.

“DKT is grateful for its partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Liberia and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to aid sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) Liberia. Through this aid, DKT is equipped to handle potential shortages due to COVID-19 and expand access to contraceptive and safe abortion”, said Turcott.

He has vowed to do everything, in partnership with the Swedish Embassy and the Ministry of Health, to minimize disruption in the access to and use of high-quality sexual and reproductive Health (SRH) products in Liberia.

“The reproductive health needs of women and men worldwide are not on “pause” during this time, so we are taking steps to address those needs. In Liberia, DKT and the Swedish Embassy responded to this alarm bell, donating all of these medical consignments,” the DKT Country Manager expressed on Wednesday February 3, 2021. “In this unprecedented time, DKT is leveraging its strong links with the public sector to provide support where it is possible by securing SRH commodities at the public facilities.”

Last year, the Ministry of Health (MOH) launched at the Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) guidelines along with other partners which DKT is disseminating the new guidelines and distribution of abortion care commodities that will equip health care providers to provide high quality, comprehensive, non-judgement abortion care services that protest patient privacy and confidentiality.

The CAC guidelines seek the provision of CAC services that recognizes women and girls’ right to dignify and respectful maternal health, equal access to high quality services for hard-to-reach, vulnerable, and disadvantaged populations, such as adolescents and productions in rural and remote areas.

The MOH is integrating Sexual, reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health services, inclusive of comprehensive family planning, across all levels of the health system.

The CAC guidelines goals include: to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality related to unsafe abortions increase contraceptive uptake among women and men (including girls and boys) to prevent unintended pregnancies, and provide clear guidance to improve provider skills, attitude, and confidence in the of CAC services.

Receiving the donation on behalf of the government of Liberia, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said the donation came timely wherein there are many young people who are sexually active and there are lot of complications that followed during their sexual responsibilities— “Being sexually active is a responsibility.”

“Our health practitioners who are not trained to operate these medicines will be trained to provide the needed services to our people when they get there. These materials are already in there so we as health practitioners have to use it for the intended purpose and to make sure our young girls are safe from these young boys,” Dr. Jallah said.

She assured the public that the Ministry and its partners are exerting every effort to reduce maternal mortality and other complicated health problems young people encounter across the country.  

During the handover ceremony at the Ministry was Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Ingrid Wetterqvist who said Sweden believes norms and laws should work together with the availability of services to reach all young people in urban and rural areas to empower them exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

 “Sweden strongly supports Liberia’s efforts to reverse this negative trend of high maternal mortality and to enhance access to sexual and reproductive health and rights,” she

Through DKT international, Sweden Supports social marketing of wide range of contraceptive products through the private sector, according to H.E. Ambassador Wetterqvist.

She concluded by saying “Sweden is pleased that DKT International extends its support to the public sector through its collaboration with the Ministry of Health.”

Signed: _____________________________________________

                  Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of communication

MOH Launches Short Code for Accident Victims

(Monrovia, Liberia, January 3, 2021)—the Ministry of Health (MOH) through its Emergency Management System Division has officially launched a short code for accident victims across the Country to help alleviate many challenges faced by accident victims in Liberia.

Although there is existent emergency contact on the Ministry’s emergency ambulances for people with medical complications but this new short code is exclusively for accident victims

During the launch on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at the Ministry in Congo Town, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah encouraged the general public to take advantage of the new code by dialing 5888 on any of the GSM companies in the Country.

Minister Jallah, who is passionate and committed to providing quality health service to the country, told scores of Journalists that there is no cost attached dialing or calling the short code: “You can call any of the GSM companies in Liberia for free of charge—if you don’t have any money on your phone, you still dial it and our team will immediately answer you”.

In terms of capacity (number of ambulances) to rapidly response to accident victims across the country, Dr. Jallah said, though the Ministry is still lobbying for more logistics including ambulances but there are sufficient ambulances across the country to sustain the program.

“We have enough ambulances that could sustain the program in all of the fifteen (15) counties. You can call the code wherever you are in Liberia, because these ambulances are stationed at strategic places to provide you the needed services.”

Dr. Jallah cautioned drivers to avoid drunkenness and speediness while plying roads within the country in order to minimize the rate of accident.

“We want Liberians to be safe, therefore, we want to suggest to you that If you are drunk, do not drive; or if your friend is drinking and you are together don’t encourage he/she to drive.” She added.

For his part, the Director of Emergency Management System Division of MOH, Mark Luke, said introduction of the code is meant to improve the provision of quality emergency services across the country.

“This is part of our responsibility as a Division of the Ministry as mandated by the Minister to improve on the provision of emergency services in the country. Owing to this, we decided to join others through the Road Safety secretariat to source some funding to have this number paid for and other materials that are expected to be here soon,” said Director Mark Luke

Signed: _____________________________________

                  Felecia Gbesioh

                  Director of Communication, MOH  

Mercy Ships Donates Assorted Medical Supplies To MOH

(Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia, January 27, 2021) As part of partnership with the Government of Liberia and the Ministry of Health for the protection of healthcare workers in Liberia, Mercy Ships Wednesday, January 27, 2021 donated assorted Medical Supplies to the Ministry in Congo Town.

The mix Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) included 74,300 pieces composed of 16,800 surgeon/nurse caps, 8,000 N95 filtering face piece masks, 14,500 examination gloves, 16,000 isolation gowns, 2,200 goggles and 16,800 pairs of shoe-covers.

“On behalf of Mercy Ships international, our board, Africa Bureau, International Support Center and national offices staff, crew and volunteers of the Ships, it is my privilege as designated Mercy Ships Country Director for Liberia to complete the donation handover of Personal Protective Equipment from Mercy Ships,” Keith Brinkman, Mercy Ships Country Director to Liberia said during handover of the donation to Minister Wilhelmina Jallah at the Minister of Health in Monrovia.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic last year, Mercy Ships had made earlier donation of PPE to the Ministry of Health consisting of 13,600 of pieces of assorted medical supplies.

“I also express our appreciation to the MSC Foundation for their donation of shipping and port coordination and their partnership with Mercy Ship since 2011. Also thanks to the contracted services of OBT shipping here in Liberia for clearance,” Keith Brinkman, Mercy Ships Country Director to Liberia noted. “Similar shipments were sent to 10 other partner nations including Benin, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Madagascar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo”.

The PPE is designated for distribution by the Ministry for the ongoing battle to continue medical care and keep the health care workers safe.

Receiving the donation on behalf of the government and people of Liberia, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah acknowledged the numerous contributions by Mercy Ships International since the outbreak of the noxious Coronavirus pandemic, describing it as a milestone in the fight against the pandemic.

Dr. Jallah, earlier, lauded Mercy Ship international for including Liberia among nations in the sub-region to benefit the donation which will guarantee the fight against the COVID-19.

“On behalf of the president, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, head of the sparkle team, who oversees the COVID-19, we appreciated the last gift you sent to us and it was to continue the fight against COVID-19. We are happy that you are able to provide all of these other materials us as well as our neighboring countries to continue to fight COVID-19. Everything that have been received here today will be used for its intended purpose—to protected the healthcare workers and to fight this virus,” she said during the donation.

Deliberating further at the one hundred thousand United States dollars ($100,000US) donation, the energetic Minister noted: “Also since we have move on from –COVID-19 to integrating the fight into routine health care, we will be able to supply all of our different facilities with materials to protect themselves, not only from COVID but from any other pending emerging infections that will come into the system, as the days go back.”

The donation which is aimed at enhancing workings of health workers at various facilities across the country, will not only benefit them (health workers) but will indirectly benefit populace in general: “We really appreciate what you have sent and I am sure that the rest of the population will benefit indirectly because as it goes to the facilities, our health workers will be fully prepare to do their job,” she concluded.

Signed: ________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication, MOH   

GOL. Breaks Ground for State of the Art Hospital in Bopolu City

(Congo Town, Monrovia, January 22, 2021)—The government emphasis on rebuilding Liberia’s health system with the construction of more health facilities that meet universal standard remains one of its major priorities among its many agenda.

To fulfil this endeavor, the government of Liberia Thursday, January 21, 2021, broke grounds for the construction of a modern state of the art one hundred bed rooms hospital in Bopolu city, Gbarpolu.

The hospital project, which will further enhance infrastructural development in the health sector and increase access to quality health care service delivery in Gbarpolu and its surrounding Counties, will also have an area of 52,000 square feet with all modern facilities including urgent care department, diagnostic department, operation theater, mother and child department, NICU and intensive care department, internal medicine and pulmonology department etc. Its major source of energy will be solar energy.

The gigantic project which is expected to be completed in fourteen months by the Intbox Global UAE-based Horizontal construction company through the Government of UAE is a gesture of goodwill as a result of the outstanding bilateral relations between the Government of UAE and Liberia respectively. It holds the humanitarian values and universal brotherhood cherished by the government of U.A.E and its commitment to the people of Liberia.

Breaking official grounds for the milestone project was Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Minister of Health, who lauded the government of U.A.E. through the intervention of H.E. President George Weah for contributing to the country’s health sector.

Giving the capacity of the project, the Minister told the people of Gbarpolu that there will be more healthcare workers in the county unlike its current size of about 263: “Today is a great day for all of us—to see Gbarpolu County becoming host of a regional hospital, where people will come from other counties for quality services. As a result of this, we will make sure we increase the numbers of current healthcare workers, 263, in the county—we will triple it or make it more”.

She beseeched the people of the county and the region to serve as ambassadors of the hospital for its maintenance and said H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah and government places major emphasis in the sector and is doing everything possible to help improve it for the benefit of the larger population.

“If this hospital will last longer it depends on you the people of this great county. Step up to your plate; do your part and the partners will do theirs which will bring in more hospitals in the Country”, the Health Minister urged her people in brief remarks.

The County since its existence will for the first time benefit from such unique health care infrastructure which will immensely help residents of the region with accessible health care services.

Also part of the delegation was Dr. Francis Kateh, Deputy Minister for Health Service and Chief Medical Office of the Republic of Liberia who then acknowledged the support of his immediate boss, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, all line ministries, the Superintendent, and the County Health Team, the Women leadership of Gbarpolu; most importantly the Islamic School that captivated the two-member delegation.

As part of the agreement, the government of Liberia through the Ministry of health has already secure USD 5M drugs which is currently in the Country, disclosed Dr. Francis Kateh, Deputy Health Minister.         

Also during the ground breaking ceremony was Wesseh Blamo, Deputy Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, who thus far commended the partners and the locals for their initial willingness and commitment to the project.

The Deputy Minister of State boss said over three thousand people are expected to benefit from the historic Health care project upon full completion in 2022.

In remarks, the Project Director and Consultant, Dr. Rajeer Mangottil underscored that the objective of the project is to among other things make health care accessible to people living in the Western region of Liberia, which is a major part of the government of UAE Humanitarian agenda.

Signed: ______________________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communication, MOH

MOH Begins Review and Development of National Community Health Policy

(Congo Town, Monrovia, January 22, 2021)—The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health (MOH) has begun the process of reviewing and developing its current community Health Assistant (CHA) program and strategic plan (2016-2021).

The current CHA program policy and strategic plan, which is expected to expire in June 2021, will pave the way for the on-going revision of the 10-year curriculum.

The first stakeholders’ engagement meeting leading to the formulation of seven (7) thematic groupings was held on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 in Careysburg, Lower Montserrado County.

The review process is aimed at strengthening the formulization and institutionalization of the community Health Assistant program that will continue to provide quality primary healthcare services to nursing program which will provide basic health promotion and healthcare activities to people living within the reach of the nearest Health facilities and urban communities.

“Today, we brought together key divisions and programs at the Ministry of Health including some key implementing partners as well as stakeholders to initiate and to fund technical working groups into thematic areas.

“We have been able to establish seven (7) thematic groups ranging from governance, leadership and community engagement; human resource for health; service delivery supply chain management; logistic, supervision and training; community base information System and Health Financing”, Olasford Wiah, Director of community Health Services Division, explained during the opening of the one-day long meeting.

“The intent of this is for each thematic group to review the existence policies and innovation that we had have over the past years—lessons learned. Those thematic groups will come up with a clear situational analysis, develop recommendation for the new policy and strategy.

“First, the policy has been able to develop recommendation of the strategy. So this thematic group will look at this through and develop the policy and strategy so the current strategy we worked out will be expiring this June, 2021. This means that we have to develop a new policy and strategy before the end of June.”

Commenting further on the official launching of the new curriculum, Director Wiah revealed that upon completing the document, the MOH and its partners will officially launch it (document) in November of this year at an international symposium in Liberia.

“We are expected to launch this new curriculum roadmap in November of 2021 at the International symposium that will be held here in Liberia”

The new curriculum formation is being supported and implemented by various organizations including World Bank, Global Fund, Samaritan’s Purse, IRC, and partners in Health.

Other supporting and implementing organizations are USAID, Last Mile Health, and others.

The orientation meeting gathered health stakeholders, Ministers, Programs and Divisions Heads of the Ministry of Health; Representatives from World Bank, World Health Organization, Samaritan’s Purse, etc.

Signed: ______________________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communication, MOH

MOH, Partners to Begin ‘Typhoid’ Vaccination Soon

(Congo Town, Monrovia, January 22, 2021)—The provision of quality healthcare service delivery remains paramount concern of the Ministry of Health (MOH), although outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus earlier last year has impeded fabrics of the sector. But the Ministry’s commitment to the health need of Liberians cannot be over emphasized.

In this vein, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and its partners in the health sector have embarked on plans gear towards vaccinating children across the Country with typhoid vaccine.

Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhoid bacteria. It is still a serious health threat in the developing world, especially for children.

The Ministry and partners will commence the four-day typhoid vaccination campaign in the Country beginning February 24 to 28, 2021.

The vaccination is expected to target children between nine (9) months to fifteen (15) years old in the fifteen counties of Liberia.

“Parents please take your children who are from 9 months old to 15 years to the nearest vaccination sites, clinics or hospitals for the typhoid vaccine”, Lahannah Ville-Jawara, Coordinator for Health Promotion at the Ministry, said during a media briefing.

During the campaign, vaccine will be given at special locations in communities and at clinics or hospitals, which citizens will have free access to so as to minimize the rate of typhoid fever in the country, according to Mrs. Jawara.

According to her, the Ministry in collaboration with its partners has developed simple typhoid messages which will be played on various communities’ radio stations for publicity.

“We are engaging stakeholders including the Medical and Dental Counsel, the Marketing Association of Liberia, Crusaders for Peace, the Traditional Counsel, among other groupings to create massive awareness on this upcoming vaccination campaign”. We believe they will motivate mothers to take their children for the vaccine,” she opined. 

Also speaking was William T. Gaye, who attributed delay of the campaign to the Coronavirus outbreak. He said they have already started engaging different sectors in educating parents about the importance of the vaccine: “due to the outbreak of the virus we decided to pause the exercise. Now, we have resumed it.

People with typhoid can have several signs and symptoms including persistent fever, general body weakness and sweating.

The disease can be spread fast through facial-oral route (Saliva, Kissing), using unclean hand when eating, using contaminated utensil, unclean environment where rats, roaches, live in the home or community.

Signed: ______________________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communication, MOH