WHO Delivers Assorted Medical Supplies to MOH

(Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia, December 10, 2021) As part of partnership with the Government of Liberia and the Ministry of Health for the provision of quality healthcare Services delivery in Liberia, the World Health Organization (WHO) has made delivery of assorted medical supplies to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Congo Town

The mix medical supplies included 5pks (150 test kits) of Syphills kits, 4pks of Sypills Screen Confirm and Assay, 3pks of contact activated lancet, 10,285 cans (2,077,000 tablets), 14 kits of Cholera Investigation complete kit, 1 kit of Cholera laboratory kit, 200 pcs of Absolute alcohol (ethanol), 2,124 pcs of chloride and 1 pc of chlorine.

Other items donated are: 15,000 kits of COVID-19 AG Test kit 20 boxes X 30 pks X 25 kits, 6 pcs of Gene Xpress 6 color module, 120pks of Xpert Xpress SARS-COV2   4boxes X 30pks, 11kits of Nuclic Extraction kit, 10pks of Disposable Virus sampling kit (100 set), 55pcs of DNA Detection kit, 4kits QlAamp virus RNA Mini kits (250), 64pcs of Oxygen regulator, 1pc of Lenovo thinkpad laptop, among other things.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic last year, WHO has made earlier donation of PPEs and other essential medical supplies to the Ministry in order to further heighten fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic and other diseases.

Receiving the donation on behalf of the government and people of Liberia, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah acknowledged the numerous contributions made by WHO, describing it as a milestone in the Country’s health sector.

“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 to us. Everything that have been received here today will be used for its intended purpose—to protect the healthcare workers and to fight this virus,” she said during the donation.

Presenting the donation was WHO Country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Peter Clement: “this is actually meant to increase drugs and other medical supplies at various health facilities across the country.”

He used the occasion to reassured WHO’s commitment to the Liberian government for the provision of quality healthcare to all.

Signed: ________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication, MOH   

After Regional Intervention: Liberia’s Medical Team Returns Home

A conglomeration of health practitioners from the Ministry of Health including a representative from Partner In Health has returned from Sierra Leone, following their intervention into the catastrophic injuries of several persons, who were involved into explosion of gas tanker.

Earlier, on Friday, November 12, 2021, a team of Health Practitioners from the Ministry departed the country to buttress doctors and nurses of Sierra Leone’s efforts amid an explosion of gas tanker, where nearly 115 people lost their lives and several persons injured.

The explosion is believed to have happened at a junction outside the busy Choithram Supermarket in the densely populated Wellington suburb in the east of the city, last month.

Sierra Leone National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) said the vehicles collided when the tanker was entering a nearby filling station to discharge its fuel.

However, given the situation, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health (MOH) dispatched a team of health practitioners who— upon arrival—provided basic healthcare interventions including mentorship for Community Health Workers (CHWs) on identification of infected wounds, discovering of  patients for prompt referral, and development policy and guidelines on burn management, Infection Prevention Control  (IPC), and Antimicrobia.

“We were joined by other colleagues from around the world, including Italy, Senegal, Germany, France, the United States; WHO, CDC, etc. to help the people and government of Sierra Leone,” Patience C. Tokpah explained to Health Hour, a health program presented by the Ministry’s Communication Unit on ELBC.

Several victims who were injured have recovered as a result of mechanisms instituted by the Liberian team: “Firstly, I am proud to represent my country. Most importantly, the team from Liberia did extremely well because of the level of seriousness and our methods of mitigation used to treat those patients. We were able to provide mentorship with the different mechanism we took along. This approach helped patients recovered.

However, the Liberian professionals also helped to train their Sierra Leone counterparts in case and disaster management: “We couldn’t keep the ideas onto us, so we were able to train some health workers who were well prepared to take over from us”.

Prior to the departure of the Liberia’s team, a Mano River Union Regional health organization was established for the sole purpose of enhancing efforts in the fight against disaster in the region, and regional IPC Protocols were developed.

Madam Diana Sarteh, Team Lead and Deputy Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer; Dr. Sterman Touissant, Co-Lead, a Surgeon and Clinical Director of Partners In Health; Amos B. Richards, PA; Kathy Gray, RN; Linda Parker, RN; Patience Cooper Tokpah, Deputy Director for County Health Services; Veraus B. Topor, RN; Elizabeth Tamba, RN; Geimeh G. Konneh, PA; Finda Kotio, RN; and Josephine Kermon, RN; were those part of the rescued mission to Sierra Leone.

Signed: ____________________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications, MOH/RL

Immediate Advisory

(December 3, 2021, Monrovia, Liberia)-The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to the fraudulent act of some group of unscrupulous individuals masquerading the public space as Human Resource Director of the Ministry in disguise of providing vacancies by extorting money from their victims.        

All Vacancies information provided by means of telephone relative to the TB Annex and central MOH for the sole purpose of stealing money by these dubious and unidentified individuals, are false, misleading, and do not exist.

The Ministry will consistently ensure to publish all vacancies signed by the Human Resource Director, and approved by the Deputy Minister for Administration in the local dailies and on the Ministry’s website.

Meanwhile, the Ministry frowns on this diabolical act and strongly warns all those involved to desist because any perpetrator apprehended, will be dealt with according to the laws of the State.

The Ministry further clarifies that at no time it has announced any vacancy in recent time for TB Annex or central office.

However, the Ministry wants to caution the public not to do any business with these individuals as they do not represent the Ministry.

Anyone doing business with these unidentified individuals without further inquiries from the MOH Communication Office is doing it on their own risk. 

Signed: ________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communications, MOH, R.L.

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  

Dr. Jallah Receives VP Jalloh

(October 26, 2021, Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia)—Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah along with team of officials at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, received a huge entourage headed by the Republic of Sierra Leone Vice President Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh.

The Sierra Leonean Vice President told Dr. Jallah and her Technicians that their visit to the Ministry was met to get firsthand information on how Liberia’s Health System is managed; and henceforth, build future bilateral relations that would enhance the provision of quality health services between the two Mano River Nations.

“Madam Minister, I supposed to be here with my health advisor, but I am sorry she’s on different assignments. Anyway, we have purposely come to get information on hospital management and its decentralization in Liberia’s. Because we have almost met the threshold of the Abuja Declaration, which calls for African Union Countries to allocate at least 15% of annual budget to improve the Health Sector.

“As we approach 2023, our government has allocated much to the health Sector with still little improvements in areas, which need urgent attention,” VP Jalloh told the gathering.

However, disclosing to the Sierra Leonean VP and his entourage, Dr Jallah assessed the country’s health administrative structure from decentralization to its complimentary components that are responsible for the day-to-day affairs of various health facilities’ functions across the Country.

“Mr Vice President, I want to say you are wholeheartedly welcome to visit us at the Ministry of Health. However, our health system is structure in the way that the County Health Officers are trained to manage our hospitals across the nation”, Dr. Jallah in a brief remark.

In the context of overseeing health administrators to provide effective and efficient management of medical centers, managing clinical operations, liaising between the administration and medical staff, and ensuring that patients receive the highest standard of medical care, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh told the visiting guests that the health system is annexed in three tiers of care – primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Placing emphasis on the primary health system, Dr Kateh said this strategy was designed to get community dwellers in the health care delivery system by recruiting them to serve as primary health care providers in their respective communities, giving that almost two-thirds of Liberian households are located outside of facility locations.

“This necessitated a different approach to bridge the gap between available workforce and local health and service delivery needs. Consequently, the decision was made to adopt more informal methods. For example, a corps of Community Health Workers, equipped, trained, well supported, and recognized as a formal cadre within the County Health Teams would link dispersed populations to services and facilities at reasonable cost, and would form the backbone of Liberia’s rural health delivery strategy”, Dr Kateh.

Signed: ________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communications, MOH, RL.

MoH Observes World Eye Sight Day

(Saturday, October 16, 2021, Todee, District)—the Ministry of Health through the National Eyes Health Program on Saturday, October 16, 2021, joined global partners to observe World Eye Sight Day.

World Sight Day is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October, to focus attention on the global issue of eye health, with a theme: “Love Your Eyes”.

In fulfilment of this historic occasion, earlier awareness was created in Todee District, rural Montserrado County. People living blindness or having eye sight issues were assembled at the Nyehn Health Center to receive free screenings and medical.

This year awareness is more important than ever as recently researchers have found a rise in nearsightedness in children during home confinement due to the pandemic. To help you access important educational information, we’ve put together a collection of resources that can be used individually.

“World Sight Day, observed annually on the second Thursday of October, is a global event meant to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment,” Dr Joseph Kerkulah, Director, National Eye Health Program at the Ministry of Health. “This year World Sight Day was observed on October 14 globally, but we decided to push it to this day (Saturday) to enable our people to fairly be a part of the process—the free eye screening you see our nurses and medical experts are carrying out here. Reduced or absent eyesight can have major and long-lasting effects on all aspects of life, including daily personal activities, interacting with the community, school and work opportunities and the ability to access public services.”

Several persons who went to the Nyehn Health Center expressed on how it takes to have or experience reduced eyesight which is reportedly caused by several factors, including diseases like diabetes and trachoma, trauma to the eyes, or conditions such as refractive error, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma.

“my eyes have been giving me hard time since 20 years ago. It started in 2000 when I was laying down after burning my cold; and while I eyes were opened, something dropped in my left eye. Since then, I have been experiencing little problem. But now, I barely read without eye glasses”, Eric Frederick, 55, a resident of Dogbah-Lon Ton, explained his ordeal.

Lions Clubs International partnered with blindness prevention organizations worldwide to commemorate the first World Sight Day on October 8, 1998. This event was later integrated into VISION 2020, a global initiative that the IAPB coordinates.

This year celebration is a joint program organized by the Ministry of Health, Lions club International, LV Prasad Eye Institute, EyeIliance, Sight Saver, Samaritan’s Purse and OneSight.

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.