Message on the occasion of the 34th WAHO Day by Professor Stanley OKOLO, Director General of WAHO

Today 9 July 2021, the West Africa Health Organization commemorates 34 years of its existence, of which the past 18 months was the most challenging. As in other parts of the world, the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating health, social and economic impact on the population of West Africa. Since its inception, WAHO has worked closely with the 15 Ministries of Health of ECOWAS Member States, the Africa Regional Office of WHO and all key stakeholders, including more recently the Africa Centre for Disease Control, to drive its mandate of safeguarding and improving the health of the region’s citizens.

And despite recurrent disease outbreaks and epidemics that have challenged the fragile health systems in our region, WAHO has championed several health improvement programs including projects on reducing the number of women dying during childbirth and the number of children dying before the age of 5 years; projects on increasing local manufacture of high quality drugs; and projects on strengthening the region’s disease surveillance, preparedness and response architecture to ensure that infectious disease outbreaks are detected early and responded to robustly.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, WAHO has led the regional response efforts by facilitating coordination, collaboration and communication between Member States and between the region and international partners. We have provided over 100,000kg of critically needed medical materials such as laboratory diagnostic equipment and reagents, personal protective equipment (PPEs), and respiratory ventilators, to support Member States in their national efforts. Over 3000 healthcare personnel have been trained in various skills required for the COVID-19 response efforts in addition to targeted financial support to help Member States in specific areas of need, such as engagement of contact tracers or public health rapid response teams, or purchase of necessary equipment for surveillance or diagnosis.

As we mark this year’s WAHO Day therefore, it is important that we remember all our citizens that have died in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially healthcare workers that have paid the ultimate price with their lives whilst at the forefront of the response to this devastating pandemic. May the souls of all the departed rest in perfect peace.

Today also offers us the opportunity to reflect on the continuing challenges we face in trying to improve the health of the region’s population. One lesson of the devastating 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in our region was the need for an agency under WAHO dedicated specifically to surveillance, preparation and response to the recurrent epidemics in the region. Five years after the establishment of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (ECOWAS RCSDC) it is an issue of personal regret that the centre is not yet fully operational due to bureaucratic delays in the long running ECOWAS Institutional Reform program. WAHO therefore continues to lead the region’s health security agenda in addition to all the other burning health issues, such as malaria, non-communicable diseases, regional production of quality medicines, and universal health coverage.

Although the region has fared much better than predicted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the weaknesses in our health systems have been exposed, including weaknesses in infrastructure, human resources, and laboratory capacity, in addition to deficits in the levels of community engagement required for effective disease control. Governments and stakeholders must therefore resolve to strengthen national health systems, and to rebuild trust with our populations without whom public health measures will fail. It is within our power as individuals and groups to control this pandemic through social behavioral change, whilst we await availability of sufficient vaccine doses through international collaboration and ongoing discussions on establishing vaccine manufacturing facilities in the region.

WAHO is extremely grateful for the support of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS Member States, the Ministers of Health, and of our international partners as we continue in solidarity on the march to regional integration through health. We still have a lot of work to do, but I believe that working together, we will succeed.

Long live ECOWAS. Long live WAHO. Long live Regional Integration.

Footnote

The West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) was established in 1987 but became fully operational in 2000 when the first Director General was appointed. Over the years, WAHO has evolved to become a regional leader in health as it continues to deliver on its mandate as the Health Institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Incident Management System-Last Mile Health Conducts COVID-19 Awareness; Distributes Sermon Guide for Religious Leaders

(MONROVIA-Monday, June 28, 2021): The Incident Management System-COVID-19, and Last Mile Health are currently conducting a weeklong community engagement and awareness activities cross several counties in Liberia.

The rigorous awareness exercise targets all districts in Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, and Grand Gedeh Counties.

A total of sixteen teams are being mobilized to work with community leaders with the Montserrado County Health Team, while four teams from the rest of the counties are now in full gear to ensure public awareness.

The robust awareness exercise focuses on the distribution of 500,000 locally made face masks to community leaders, school authorities, the Liberian Marketing Association, and civil society organizations.

Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, Minister of Health, and Chairperson, Incident Management System, lauded Last Mile Health timely support to the Risk Communication Pillar.

Dr. Jallah stated that the launch of the ‘Mask Wearing campaign” by Last Mile Health and the Incident Management System is in consistent with the government of Liberia, and the Incident Management System desires to ensure Liberians and foreign Nationals’ abide by the health measures of wearing mask to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

She praised Last Mile Health Family for its tremendous support to the IMS, including other interventions of the Health system.

For her part, Last Mile Health Country Director, Madam Marion Subah stated that her organization remain committed to Liberia’s health delivery system, especially the fight against COVID-19 Pandemic.

Madam Subah said Last Mile Health as part of the support to the Incident Management System, has allocated awareness support to other counties in which Last Mile Health is operational.

The ongoing exercise involves robust community engagement activities, the distribution of 500, 000 face masks, outreach activities using moving stage methodology, the distribution of social behavior change materials on the Dos & Don’t  of COVID-19 to ensure Liberia contains the further the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

Meanwhile, the Last Mile Health has presented to the Inter Religious Council of Liberia, two thousand sermon guide to aid religious leaders to enable them properly disseminate information on the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.

The sermon guide provides guidelines and specific COVID-19 messages for religious leader to disseminate to their various congregations, especially during the continued surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Receiving the sermon guides on half of the Islamic Community, Iman Abdullah G. Mansaray, President, Interfaith Religious Council, (IRCL),lauded the initiative by Last Mile Health and the Incident Management System to reach out to all across the country in its effort to containing the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Iman Mansaray, stated that the Interfaith Religious Council will continued to be the beacon of hope amidst continued despair of Liberians in the wake of the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The Islamic prelate said the sermon guide will accelerate continued awareness on the Coronavirus Pandemic by religious leaders in Liberia, through various sermons by both Christians and Muslims in Liberia about the danger COVID-19 poses to the health and economic growth of the world.

Imam Mansaray, called on religious leaders to use the sermon guide as an important catalyst to changing the behavior of their various congregations attitude towards the fight of COVID-19 by abiding by all measure put in place by health authorities and the government of Liberia.

Signed:________________________

            Chester A. Smith/Risk Communication Pillar Lead

REVISED COVID-19 NATIONAL GUIDELINES BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH-JUNE 2021

  

In consequence of increasing cases of the coronavirus disease in Liberia and given the statistics of the current spread of the virus in the communities, it’s modes of transmission and prevention, the Ministry of Health hereby announces a revised set of National COVID-19 Guidelines pursuant to chapter 14 of the public health law of Liberia as follows.

The revised guidelines will take immediate effect and remain in effect until otherwise modified: 

1. Passengers who have been travelling from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh within the last 14 days will be not allowed entry into Liberia.

 2. All persons shall mandatorily     

         a. Wear mask at all times in public     

         b. Ensure social physical distancing of a minimum of three (3) feet    from each other     

         c. Wash hands with soap and clean water, or alcohol-bases sanitizer     

d. COVID positive persons and contacts.  All persons tested positive for COVID-19 there and contacts are requiring to comply with health authorities and related health rules such as keeping phone lines open, self-quarantine, submission to quarantine or observation measures, and adherence to medical advice.

 3. Public offices are required to reduce staff by 50%, while others work at home.

4. All institutions of learning, places of worship shall remain open but strictly follow the health protocols listed in count 2 above.

5. Large gatherings of more than 20 persons including parties, weddings, vigils/wake, funerals are disallowed. Gatherings involving up to 20 persons are permitted provided the attendees follow the health protocols listed in count 2 about.

6. Sporting events are allowed but only in empty stadium (without spectators).

 7. Restaurants and cook shops shall remain open provided persons and staff in attendance follow the health protocols listed in count 2 above.

8. Barber shops, lodges, and beauty salons and persons and staff in attendance shall follow the health protocols listed in count 2 above.

9. Banks shall only allow ten people at a time in service area and those outside the banks shall keep a distance of at least three feet apart from each other while awaiting service. Persons and staff in attendance shall follow the health protocols listed in Count 2 above.

10. Public Transports: taxis shall carry no more than three passengers in the back and one passenger in the front; kehkehs should carry only two passengers in the back and no passenger in the front, motor bikes shall carry only one passenger. All drivers/riders and passengers shall follow the protocols listed under count 2 above. Compulsory mask wearing is hereby imposed in all public transports.

11. All ports of entry and international traveler shall follow these guidelines as well as any other from the Liberia immigrations services, the Civil Aviation.

12. Transportation of the dead bodies of confirmed Covid19 person:

In or and out of the republic of Liberia is prohibited during this emergency. All airlines and funeral homes are advised to take note of this prohibition and all other existing health protocols.

13. All supermarkets and Large stores must insist on mask wearing and allow only 20 customers at a time, while those customers observe social distancing by being always a minimum of three feet apart. Those outside shall remain outside and stand a minimum of three feet apart as well, as they await their turn to be served. All businesses are under obligation to ensure that count 2 are complied with.

14. All health facilities, health institutions and pharmacies will remain open for routine service, with social distancing practices. All safety rules and procedures at hospitals and all facilities shall be strictly adhere to. Mandatory mask wearing is imposed at all health institutions.

15. All marketers, street sellers and buyers are required to abide by the health protocols listed in count 2.

16. Night clubs and bars shall close at 9pm, observing the 20 persons’ restrictions; other related entertainment centers such as businesses dealing in alcoholic beverages shall close at 9pm

17. Community dwellers are required to report people who show signs and symptoms of the coronavirus such as (coughing, fever, difficulty breathing) in their communities to relevant health and security authorities. Please call (4455).

19. Sanctions: violation of these guidelines shall be dealt with in keeping with section 14.6 of the public health law which states in part:

“Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or any of the rules made thereunder shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding (US$200.00) two hundred United States dollars or imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both such fine and imprisonment”.

Additionally, the government may be compelled to impose a lockdown and or curfew if these guidelines are not fully complied.

20. The Ministry of Justice, as head of the joint security, shall in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, enforce these guidelines without prejudice.

Given Under my hand in the city of Monrovia this 17 day of June A. D. 2021

Signed: ________________________________________

              Wilhelmina Jallah

              Minister of Health

MOH Hails President Weah for Appointing Sorbor George

(June 16, 2021, Monrovia, Liberia)—the Ministry of Health is thrilled by the news of the appointment of its senior media consultant, Sorbor George on Monday, June 14, 2021, as Deputy Director General for Broadcasting at the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS).

Prior to his nomination by the President, Mr George has served in several senior management positions at the Ministry, ranging from Communications Director and later elevated as Senior Media Consultant.

Furthermore, the Ministry is well pleased to commend its now former staff for the invaluable services rendered to the Liberian Government through the ministry over the years.

In his new capacity at the state broadcaster, the ministry wishes to use this medium to encourage its former employee to replicate the same level of dedication he exhibited while in its employ.

Signed: ___________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communications

           Ministry of Health

MOH Begins COVID-19 Vaccination Phase Two

(June 2, 2021, Monrovia, Liberia)—The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with partners on June 1, 2021 officially launched phase two of the COVAX Vaccines immunization at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.

Phase two of the vaccination is aimed at targeting previously vaccinated persons for the completion of their respective dozes.

“The importance attached to this second doze is that it will give the 100% protection against the virus. We need to vaccinate approximately two million people”, Dr Wilhelmina Jallah said at the launch.

The first phase of the COVAX Vaccination exercise, which is still on going at various designated health facilities in the Country, has met its goal as over 56,000 persons have been vaccinated against the virus since the official launch of the nationwide vaccination exercise in April of this year.

“We are very much excited with the first phase of the vaccination, because had lots of individuals and institutions pulling for the vaccines, including churches, Mosques, schools, organizations, etc.” Dr. said. “We appreciate everyone who have participated in the process, including those who are yet to be vaccinated”.

As a way of ensuring that the Ministry meets its targets, Dr. Jallah said her team deployed a strategy by engaging stakeholders at all levels of the Liberians society for the common good of minimizing the spread of virus, and at ensuring that citizens take advantage of the vaccination process.

 “Well, as we speak, we have recording over hundred plus persons for this second phase,” the Liberian Health Minister disclosed.

Meanwhile, the Liberian Health Minister named John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Redemption, J.D.J., and 14 Military hospitals as public health facilities where the immunization will be administered; while SOS, Catholic and ELWA Hospitals, as well as the UN Clinic were among few private health facilities labeled for the vaccination.

“All of those places we started the vaccination are maintained…Please good back to where you took the first doze to get your second doze. We don’t you to go the places we’re giving the second doze, so if you didn’t take the first, we want to subject that you go to the Ministry of Health or EOC at the old maternity Center on Capitol Bypass where we will be giving the first doze. But the previous that we announced will now be administering the second doze. Do not forget your vaccination card,” she informed.

Also, Dr. Jallah admonished Liberians from all walks of life to join the immunization campaign so as to keep safe from contracting the virus.

  “We are calling on all Liberians and foreign residents alike to join us in this campaign in order to end this global pandemic. They are saying ‘pandemic’ because this virus is all over the world, which Liberia is of no exception”, she averred. 

As a way of exemplifying altruistic leadership and demonstrating how safe the vaccines are, Liberian Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah was also first to be immunized on camera, including Dr. Peter Clement, WHO Country Representative to Liberia and other high profiled government officials as well as other participants who graced the occasion.

Signed: ________________________

            Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communications

            Ministry of Health, R.L

Dr. Jallah Lavishes Praises On PMC For Costly Medical Supplies

(Monrovia, Liberia, May 24, 2021)—Liberian Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, has lavished praises on a US-based Organization, Parks Medical Corporation (PMC), for its overwhelming support and contribution towards the Country’s Health Sector.

“On behalf of the President, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah and the people of Liberia, first of all; we want to say thanks to Mr. Parks and his foundation for working along with you [Mr. Nmah] to think about Liberia

“However, the cost of these equipment are an underestimation because they are very expensive and important. Thanks to the Liberian Community in Washington for their involvement in getting these supplies to the country,” she praised.

Explaining further on the importance of the donation, Dr. Jallah deliberated: “To let Liberians know what Mr Parks and his Foundation have donated to Liberia, they donated Endoscopic video system—which is one of the new technology systems; it is a video system that when you are doing the work, the doctor and his/her medical technicians will be able to see what’s going on in the person’s body.”

The Minister, however, emphasized that the donation will be turned over to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, which is one of the Country’s highest healthcare providers, for an immediate setup.

Dr. Jallah used the occasion to extoll Mr. Gabriel Nmah for using his connection to contribute to the country’s health sector and asked well-meaning Liberians to follow suit.

The donation which worth over eighty thousand United States dollars (US$8,000.00) was attracted through the efforts of Hon. Gabriel Nmah, Deputy Director for Administration of the Liberian National Fire Service (LNFS).

Speaking over the Weekend, while presenting the assorted medical supplies to the Ministry, Hon. Gabriel Nmah, Sr., narrated that the donation followed as a result of his visit to the United States of America in June last year, when he accompanied Sen. Phil D. Fortunato on his gubernatorial Campaign. During the visit, according to him, he met with a philanthropist and businessman, David B. Parks. During the interaction, Mr. Parks promised to help contribute to the country’s health system through his foundation—the PMC.

“When he asked [me] where he could contribute, I named the health sector. But, since I am not a medical practitioner, I immediately contacted Minister Jallah; and they began the conversation”, Mr. Nmah explained. “PMC has actually been donating medical supplies to Senegal, Mexico, India, etc.”

Meanwhile, the LNFS’ Deputy Director beseeched the Ministry to list some medical equipment that public hospitals and clinics lack so PMC can make interventions.

The Parks Medical Corporation (PMC) is an institution which was established in 2001 and have been providing or supplying quality healthcare equipment over twenty years. Mr. David Parks is the president and owner of the Parks Medical Corporation based in Spokane, Washington State, USA. President Parks is a renowned philanthropist and businessman who has also made similar donations to other countries around the world, including but not limited to, Senegal, Mexico, Mali, and the Philippines.

The items received include: Fujifilm 4400HD Endoscopic Video System, ERBE ICC 200 Electrosurgical Unit, Endoscopic Lavage Flush Pump with Water Bottles & Tubing, Savory Esophageal Dilator, EC530LSZ HD Pediatric Colonoscope, EC530HC HD Adult Colonoscope, EG530WR HD Gastroscope and 19” HD NDS Medical Monitor with Cabling and Keyboard.

Among other items donated also are:  Cygnus Enzymatic Sponges (Bag), Disposable EndoGator Tubing Sets, Dragontail Microfiber Channel Brushes, Single-Use Colon Biopsy Forceps, FB24E-1 Endoscopy Biopsy Forceps, Reusable Endoscopy Water Bottles, Endoscopy Bite Blocks, PMC Hand Held Leak Tester, Polyp Traps, etc.

Signed: _____________________________________

             Felecia Gbesioh

            Director of Communication

           Ministry of Health, R.L

MOH, Partners Conclude Free Surgical Outreach In Bong

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the New Sight Eye Center   has recently concluded another phase of free surgical and medical outreach in Bong county, the central region of Liberia. The free surgical outreach was sponsored by the Samaritan’s Purse International while the New Sight Eye Center served as its implementing partner. The free eye surgery outreach conducted in the county is among few eye programs piloted by Samaritan’s Purse, which is aimed at improving the quality of lives of people living with blindness across the nation.

During the week-long exercise, over 350 visually impede people successfully underwent free surgery, with many of them sharing testimonies of their undesirable turn of lives.

Martha Lincoln, a candidate who underwent a successful operation, expressed joy for gaining her sight again as she leaves from darkness to light.  ‘’I was in total darkness but now I can see. I want to say thank you to all the people who have come here to help us to see.’’ She noted with joy.

‘’Firstly, I tell the mighty God to thank you, I want say thanks to the government thanks; and I also want to tell the people who’ve come to work on our eyeball plenty thanks. We don’t get pay for them; only God will pay them,’’ Madam Lincoln concluded.

Testifying after the successful operation, Mr. Edward Zolowo noted that people most often abandon them much time due to their condition but now he is grateful for the freedom restored onto him by regaining his sight.

‘’Now I can see again, I was in darkness but thought this would not work again. Blindness my son is really bad it makes you look like a small child and ask people help in everything but today I am a happy man because I can see.’’ Edward Zolowo said.

The entire Cataract surgical operation continued simultaneously with both male, female including children most especially those with Cataract problems across Bong County.

The Cataract patients mostly adults came from across Bong County to be treated in Salala with lodging, food, and transportation all made availed by the Samaritan’s Purse.

However, declaring the outreach open was Dr. Joseph L. Kerkulah, National Eye Health Program Manager of the Ministry of Health. He used the occasion to express the Ministry and the Liberian government’s gratitude to Samaritan’s Purse and the New Sight Eye Center for always partnering with the Ministry in providing sight to Liberians from all walks of lives.

The National Eye Health Program Manager promised to continue with such gesture in the county following a huge turnout of patients for the surgical operation.

Dr. Kerkulah, meanwhile, called on health practitioners throughout the country to get involve or specialized in the area of eye health care; something he believes would be a gap in the future if not address.

‘’We want to again thank our partners—the Samaritan’s Purse and the New Sight Eye Center—for such an initiative in the Country; hence, we are grateful to all of them for providing sight to our people while we at the Ministry monitor and supervise the process,’’ he said.

Also, Speaking was Dr. Galakpai Kolubah, Assistant Health Sector Manager Dr. Galakpai Kolubah of Samaritan’s Purse. Dr. Kolubah said Samaritan’s Purse is on a mission in the country’s health sector to help the government and other partners improve the sector.

‘’On behalf of the Samaritan’s Purse, our Country Director, and Sector Manager, we say thank you so much for the support and effort. We want to make sure that those who have been operated on be able to go back home without someone helping them, do things by themselves, go on the farm by themselves and eat their food without assistance’’. He explained

Still at the official launch in Salala was Dr Robert Dolo, Founder and Executive Director of Cataract Surgeon at the New Sight Eye Center.

According to Dr. Dolo, the surgical outreach conducted in Bong County was a sight-restoring service to the people of Bong County, thus urging citizens to take advantage of the opportunity.

‘’ We are here purposely to remove cataracts and to restore sight. It is a sight-restoring service to the people of Boing County like we have done in other counties. Now we want you to take this opportunity and make maximum use of the opportunity and support eye care health in this country to reduce blindness in Liberia’’ he said during the opening.

Signed: __________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communication

           Ministry of Health, RL

NCHP Completes Validation Meeting In Buchannan

As the trumpet for the provision of quality health service delivery continue to be sounded in the Liberian health sector, stakeholders in the later inclusive of local and international partners have concluded another validation meeting to ensuring that a national document is validated.

The three-day meeting placed emphasis on Report of the National Community Health Assistant Program Comprehensive Desk Review, Report of the Community Health Promoter Pilot and adaptation of the World Health Organization New Guidelines for Optimizing CHWs program.

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.

Among other things, the review process is   aimed at strengthening the formulation and institutionalization of the Community Health Assistant program that will continue to provide basic quality primary healthcare services to nursing program and promote quality healthcare activities to people living within the reach of the nearest health facilities and urban communities across the country. 

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

Stakeholders in the health sector gathered from March 24 to 26, 2021 in Buchannan to review, deliberate and share their professional experiences on the program as it has been recommended by global health experts as the bedrock to achieving WHO objective of Universal Health Coverage for all.

Olasford Wiah, National Community Health Program Director at the Ministry of Health (MOH) said: “The past three days, we commenced reviewing these documents: Desk Review of the community health assistants program, the pilot reports of the community health promoter as well as to adopt officially as a Nation the WHO’s guideline on community health workers program

” So, over the last three days we have been deliberating among key stakeholders, and today we have finalized our work and it has been agreed by all of the stakeholders to use these tools as a referenced document into our policy review process that have begun.

“But, the more technical part will be starting in the coming weeks—this covers the entire community health service program.”

The WHO Guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health workers program to assist national governments, and their partners, to improve the design, implementation, performance and evaluation of CHW programs, thereby contributing to the attainment of universal health coverage.

To meet this universal objective, community health workers are hired to serve as liaisons who will help mitigate health disparities, increase access to care, improve quality of care, and lower healthcare costs. They are nonclinical, nonmedical advisors and patient educators.

Referencing their impact on the sector over the past five years, Olasford Wiah said timely validation of the document is very important because the Ministry of Health is charged with the responsibility to provide quality healthcare to the population in Liberia; and as an extension and an integrated part   of the health system in the country, as such the validation and adoption of the program is key to universal health coverage.

In 2016, the Ministry of Health officially launched the National Community Health program immediately, following lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak that took thousands of lives in the Mano Region (Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia). To curve some of these emerging global health threats, various departments and agencies were setup.

Hence, the Community Health Program, according to Wiah, has yielded lots of tangibles results that have direct impact on the overall performance of the healthcare delivery system in Liberia. Reduction in malaria, pneumonia, maternal mortality rates, among few were references he made to the successful impacts of the program in the Country.

“And so, by reviewing what we have done over the last six years, lessons; what we have learned; what are the issues—challenges and what are the recommendations that we want to take forward in the next year to come is what important for the forward match of the design of the curriculum,” the NCHAP Director at the end of the meeting. “Our main objective of the program is to ensure that maternal death and mortality rates are reduced.

As per the report, numbers of active Community Health Assistants across the country is put at approximately 3,7800, while the number of Community Health Volunteers is little over 5000.

“Now, the community health Assistant are within community beyond 5killometer, meaning the most remote communities of our country. So they are positioned there to provide services to the community.

Assuring Partners In Health (PIH) commitment to buttressing government’s efforts in providing quality health service delivery and attaining WHO Universal Health Coverage guideline was Lassan Jabateh, PIH’s Director of Community Health.

“We are here as organization (PIH) to support the Ministry’s dream. We are excited today that the Ministry of Health having a plan and program across all the inhabitants in Liberia irrespective of tribal, age, religious, political affiliation or geographical location.

“Partners in Health has been working with the Ministry since the Ebola period during which the organization was involved to ensure that Ebola was eradicated from the country and onward; we have been supporting the Ministry to ensuring that we have a resilient healthcare system,” Jabateh disclosed.

Liberia has a community health program with focused mostly on people living outside 5 kilometers which arguably constitutes 29%of the population.

Whereas there has not been standardized community program within 5 kilometers—which constitutes 71% of the population.

The validation exercise when completed will placed Liberia on the mode of universal health coverage, making sure that everybody within the perimeter of Liberia has access to health care.

Joyce Kilikpo, Executive Director of Public Health Initiative Liberia, explaining importance of the document, she said: “These document as you may know Community Health is the bedrock of our healthcare system. If we are going to address leaving no one behind—ensuring equity in our health sector—it stands with how well planned and informed our community health program is.

“These documents are worked over time with clearly states what needs to be corrected, what are good we are doing to provide best practices.

“Community health program links community with the health sector—building trust and relationship and at the same time using people from within the community to build that link.”

Signed: ________________________________

           Felecia Gbesioh

           Director of Communications, MOH, R.L.

MOH, Partners Launch Nationwide Polio Vaccination Campaign

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Partners has officially launched the 2021 Nationwide Polio Vaccination Campaign in Liberia.

The Polio Vaccination Campaign is fully supported by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which includes six members WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, CDC, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Rotary.

During the launching ceremony which was held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship International in Sinkor Friday March 26, 2021 in Monrovia, Liberia’s Health Minister Hon. Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah disclosed that about one million children under 5 years old are expected to be vaccinated adding that the Polio Vaccination Campaign will also include the birth registrations of all the children during the exercise. ‘’We want to make sure that all of the one million children that we are going to be vaccinating have their birth registrations and their normal polio vaccines’’ Dr. Jallah told scores of partners and the media  who had gone to the launch the 2021Polio vaccines.

 The Liberian Health Minister used the occasion to inform the Liberian populace that the polio vaccine is free of charge and it will be administered by vaccinators with identification Cards only in the day time.

Dr. Jallah praised all partners including the World Health Organization (WHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Rotary, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for their enormous support to the Health sector of Liberia. 

Also speaking at the Launch, Mr. Adolphus T. Clarke Program Manager of the Ministry of Health Immunization Project disclosed that, 3,119 vaccination teams have been dispatched in the various communities to conduct a full-scale house-to-house polio nationwide campaign with an aim of vaccinating 972,870 children across Liberia.

Mr. Clarke stated that 2 rounds of the polio vaccines will be given  to each child aged less than 5 years, while COVID-19 protocols will be adhere to ensure vaccinators, health workers and communities take  precautions and are protected from COVID19. Clarke added that at least 95% children are expected to be vaccinated during the exercise.

For her part, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) country Representative Madam Laila Omar Gad said the polio vaccination’s campaign launch is in fulfilment of global efforts to eradicate the poliovirus.

Madam Gad at the same time reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for the continuation of existing support to the Liberian Health sector.

In February 2021, the Ministry of Health in Liberia declared the Poliovirus outbreak in the country as a public health emergency. Children in Liberia are at a risk of contracting this incurable disease if they are not vaccinated against polio.

The Polio Vaccination Campaign will run from March 26-29, 2021.

This endeavour is in line with the world’s effort to curb and eradicate the Poliovirus.

Therefore; the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Health encourages all Citizens and residents in the borders of Liberia to make available their children under the age of 5 to be vaccinated.