President George Weah has dedicated a temporary quality control laboratory which was built by Liberia Medicine and Health Product Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) to ensure health products coming into the country are safe and meet regulatory standards.
He described the facility as an important milestone in Liberia’s healthcare endeavors.
President Weah said healthcare for citizens is an essential part of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), his Government’s flagship development program.
In a special statement at the dedication ceremony, held in Careysburg, the Liberian Leader acknowledged that the citizens will struggle in vain without a healthy nation.
“In the past we have been confronted with many incidents of the abundance of fake drugs and other health products,” the Liberian Chief Executive noted, calling on the administration of the LMHRA to continue to enforce existing laws and regulations to protect the general public from dangerous and fake medical products.
“The commitment of my administration to a healthy nation remains unwavering,” President Weah added. “That is why since I assumed the Presidency, we have continued to improve and equip Liberia’s largest referral hospital, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, as well as undertaken the construction of several new health facilities throughout the country."
The President assured the LMHRA family and Liberians in general that he fully supports the construction and dedication of the Laboratory, stressing, “it is vital to have a system for inspecting the quality of medical drugs on the Liberian market.”
Also in remarks, the World Health Organization Country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Peter Clement, has called on the government to institute more measures that will help improve the country’s health sector, especially tackling fake medicines.
Dr. Clement noted that despite support from partners to the country’s health sector, there are still several challenges confronting the sector due to lack of instituted programs to soften the problems.
Some of these challenges, according to Dr. Clement, include lack of accountability for donor funds, and the unavailability of drugs, amongst others.
The WHO Country Representative said it has been observed that a lot of people get unsaved medicines out of the hospital due to its scarcity in clinics and hospitals across the Country.
Dr. Clement added that one of the best ways the country's health sector can be improved is for citizens to have access to quality medicines at all times.
Dr. Peter Clement noted that to tackle the purchase of fake drugs on the Liberian market, there is a need for a strong regulatory authority.
Meanwhile, President Weah has assured that efforts towards revamping the health sector will remain unabated “despite limited resources and competing priorities.”
He recounted the training of health workers and the incorporation of additional medical staff on the government payroll as evidence of the government's commitment to ameliorating the country's health system.
“My administration remains committed to the goal of making Liberia a center of excellence in the health sector, thereby reducing our reliance on other nations for solutions," President Weah said, adding he said he was exceedingly glad to have learned that the LMHRA built the temporary Quality Control Laboratory from fees collected locally.
“This is indeed commendable. I am even more pleased to be informed that, from the same local revenue collected, together with some support from Government, you have been able to complete the construction of the foundation of an ultra-modern laboratory complex here at King’s Town in Careysburg, which will ensure that all medicines and health products, including cosmetics, coming into this country are tested for their compliance with internationally-accepted standards of quality,” President Weah noted.
The President expressed appreciation to the management of the LMHRA for undertaking such a monumental initiative, which enables it to begin full testing of medicines in Liberia in its own purpose-built facilities.
He encouraged the LMHRA management to dedicate all of its efforts to mobilizing resources to complete the new permanent Quality Control Laboratory Complex within the next 12 months.