Ministry of Health With WHO and World Bank/GFF Holds Two-Day Medical Training

Wednesday March 27-28- 2019 The Ministry of Health with support from the World Bank/GFF and the World Health Organization (WHO) climaxed a two day medical doctors and clinicians training at the Ministry’s head office in Congo town.

 Speaking on behalf of World Bank, Mrs. Munirat Iyabode Ogunlayi appreciated the Ministry of Health and the participants for their commitment and coordination as she reiterated the importance of the medical certification of cause of death (MCCD) by doctors and clinicians. 

She concluded by challenging them to utilize the training because it is timely and would be required of them in the near future, to impact other professional doctors within the health sector who were not privileged to be a part of this first batch of trainers.

Meanwhile WHO representative Dr. Mesfin Gebrekidan Zbelo, cautioned the doctors to be sensitive by not only documenting the days of  death   as well as   the date confirming the death, but as   doctors, they have to document the actual causes of death by stating the cause of death. In so doing, they are certifying and providing certification.

 According to Dr. Mesfin, it is a medical doctor’s responsibility. It makes it very relevant by doing this in a standardize approach thus enabling doctors to respond to the resolutions of other countries.  And most importantly he said, the health sector is being guided by sustainable development goals, which is the agenda for measuring our Health and other sectors strategies.

He emphasized   the need for health practitioners to have a quality data in a comparable manner. Dr. Mesfin said he expects all of us especially in the health sector, to monitor those important elements “why are mothers dying, why are new age children infants dying, why are children dying, and what is the status of AIDS from 

HIV to malaria in other countries and what are the leading causes. It is also important to know geographically the leading causes and where they are happening as an important factor. Where ever we get this standardize data we are going to use it to compare what is the situation of Liberia  as compare to other countries Dr. Mesfin said”.

 He urged the doctors and clinicians that, been the first batch of trainers opportune to be trained, they should utilize the training and lead as it is a huge responsibility. Dr. Mesfin said, the Ministry and partners are counting on them with the World Bank and WHO strategically positioned to always give them their unflinching support. He then added that as health practitioners they should value the money that World Bank has brought to the country, because it is a combination of all those factors.

He congratulated the Ministry of Health for their leadership and also appreciated the participants for their leadership as they return in order to realize this is actually happening within their facilities. It should not just be a training but something that is going to happen.

Assistant Minister for Vital statistics Chea Sanford Wesseh spoke on behalf of the Ministry. He called on the UNHCR, PLAN Liberia and other organizations to ensure that we decentralize and register births in Liberia. For death he said, has been a major challenge in mobilizing resources to fully implement death registration.

 According to Minister Wesseh, death and birth registration are part of the civil registration components. There are four major components that make up civil registration. They include death, birth, marriage, and rewards with adoption etc.  also   been other components. He further noted that their concentration at the training was emphatically placed on the component of death registration.

He said from their statistics, there are less than 5% of death in Liberia that are registered. Minister Wesseh indicated that with the accrued death rate of 7-11, death per 1000 population and Liberia as a country with a population of a little over four million people we expect 35,000 thousand to 40,000 deaths to be registered annually. He also said that in their system, there was an alarming situation in the past that nobody dies in the primary facilities but only in the secondary facilities. So they did not make provisions in their ledgers and reporting instruments for deaths occurring in the primary health facilities.

 According to Minister Wesseh it was changed last year and currently, they are capturing deaths occurring in primary facilities. Registering less than 6000, it means that we have been capturing less than 25% of the deaths. Mr. Wesseh noted that even with the 5,000 annual, the amount of 1,000 deaths have never been register at the central Ministry.

 He said the highest death ever recorded in the health information system was close to 10,000 in 2014 and obviously it was because of the Ebola outbreak (EVD). Apart from that, the hospitals and health centers have been registering less than 6,000 deaths annually.

 Mr. Wesseh lamented on what is killing our people and unless we document actually and scientifically or medically what is killing our people, it will become very difficult to inform policy makers on what interventions that are effective and appropriate for reducing and preventing more deaths in our Country.

 Speaking further he said this is the reason for which those doctors and clinicians were called to expose them to the medical certification of cause of death form, how to complete, to talk about the importance and to also expose them to the international classification of diseases(ICD11). He also disclosed that it was something good because there is not any form of ICD in our Health system, so it is good that they have started such an essential training.

Mr. Wesseh talked about the Health sector having multiple medical certification and in moving forward, it was an opportunity to harmonize and standardize the cause of death. He cautioned them to change the way they have been documenting deaths because after the training, the Ministry hope to cascade the training to other counties.

 He lauded the WORLD BANK/GFF and the WHO facilitators for their presence, financial and technical support as the Ministry will continue to engage them until we can have a resilient health sector.The training conducted for medical doctors and clinicians was comprehensive, interactive, and it brought together participants from the various counties.

Israel Holds Workshop On Emergency Disaster And Accident Management

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Israeli government on June 19th, 2019 started a week long workshop aimed at training health workers in how to respond to emergency disaster and accident management in the country. The workshop which is being held at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town by the County Health Division of the Ministry of Health.

The workshop brought together officers from the Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia National Drugs Enforcement Agency, Liberia National Fire Service and other government agencies.

According to Dr. Francis N. Kateh Deputy Minister for Health Services and Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, the workshop will enhance the skills of the participants in the area of emergency accident and disaster management.

The Liberia Chief Medical Officer making remarks on behalf of the Ministry of Health, cautioned participants of the workshop to see the training as a golden opportunity to equip and prepare them for future emergency incidents.

Dr. Kateh noted that no knowledge acquired is wasted, adding that the knowledge he had acquired over the years which he thought would have never been used was what he brought on board during the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in 2014.

It can be recalled in 2014 the health sector of the country came under serious attack by the Ebola virus that claimed the lives of many Liberians.

The virus which came as a strange outbreak of disease in the country’s health sector was immediately fought with straight measures that quickly curb the virus.

Speaking during the opening session of the workshop, the Representative of the embassy of Israel MASHAV Officer Madam Dana Chocron lauds the government of Liberia for embracing the Israelis government own efforts in the Liberia health sector.

According to Madam Chocron the friendship between Liberia and Israel has been a longstanding one. Meanwhile, Dr. Kateh lauds the people and government of Israel for their support and hope that the longstanding friendship continue on good footing.

Ministry of Health Receives 10 Vehicles From The World Bank

Liberia’s health sector on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 received a significant boost after the World Bank presented 10 vehicles to the Ministry of Health. The vehicles which includes Toyota Land Cruisers and Nissan Patrols are valued over four hindered thousand United States Dollars.

World Bank Senior Health Specialist, Dr. Munirat Ogunlayi said it was a joyous day for the bank with the presentation of such vehicles. Dr. Ogunlayi appealed that the vehicles be properly maintained and used for the purpose intended. Also receiving the keys of the vehicles, Deputy Health Minister for Administration, Norwu Howard, thanked the World Bank for the donation and promised that they would be used for the intended purpose. Minister Howard also assured that users of the vehicles will be held accountable to ensure proper maintenance. Minister Howard said investing resources behind health programs and indicators demonstrate a strong desire of the Bank to boosts indicators and capacitate the health workers.

Earlier, World Bank Representative in the Ministry of Health, Matthew Flomo announced that the vehicles were made available under the Health System Strengthening Project. Three of the vehicles will be used by the Community Health Assistance Program, two by the Nursing and Midwifery Division and the remaining five of the vehicles will be used the Performance Base Financing interventions at both central and in three counties including Gbarpolu, Rivercess and Sinoe.

Signed: Sorbor George/Communication Consultant/MOH

Operation Restore Hope Center Underway

Government of Liberia and Oum El Nour Tour the newly Proposed Rehabilitation Site in Grand Bassa County

Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah along with Grand Bassa County Representative Hans Barchue, Bishop Guy Paul Noujaim, (President and Co-founder of Oum El Nour, Liberia-OENL), and other members of the OENL board toured the newly proposed drug and alcohol rehabilitation site-in Grand Bassa county on Saturday, June 1st. 

The Government of Liberia has initiated a partnership with Oum El Nour, a non-governmental organization from Lebanon to construct the drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Grand Bassa County.  The proposed name for the rehabilitation center is “Operation Restore Hope”, a name given by the challenged Youth of Liberia.

The official launch is expected to take place by H.E. President George M. Weah.  Government stakeholders for this initiative include the Ministries of Health, Youth & Sports, Finance and Development Planning, and Public Works.

The center, when completed will rehabilitate, provide drug/alcohol detoxification as well as collaborate with agencies and partners for re-integration into the society. The rehabilitation program at the newly proposed center will also transform lives by training and providing those enrolled in the program with skill-building opportunities to help make them independent and productive citizens.

Minister Jallah thanked OENL for the laudable initiative and said the project is a part of President Weah’s cherished programs to help transform people struggling with alcohol, drugs and other forms of substance abuse as well as provide them with useful training skills for subsequent integration into various communities in Liberia.

The Health Minister went on to further express her gratitude on behalf of the Liberian Government to the World Lebanese Cultural Union in Liberia and their sponsors for taking the initiative to partner with the Liberian government to make a difference in the lives of the Liberian people.

Grand Bassa County Representative Hans Barchue also lauded the initiative made by the Lebanese community in Liberia and pledged the county full support to its achievement.   

OEN President and co-founder Bishop Noujaim expressed gratitude to President Weah and his government for the land space and reaffirmed his organization commitment to the realization of the program.

Bishop Noujaim said he was motivated by the timely and positive response of the President toward efforts aimed at transforming people on drugs and alcohol.