The lone female contender on the 2017 Presidential landscape, MacDella Cooper, has said if Liberian leaders are not interested in the education of young people, the nation should be prepared for chaos, destruction and instability.
Commenting on Liberia’s unemployment statistics, Madam Cooper expressed shock and underscored the urgent need for professional and vocational training for young Liberians.
She also expressed grave concern about what she called “the underfunded healthcare system in Liberia,” that she said is so bad healthcare givers on many occasions rain insults on child bearing mothers at medical facilities.
Ms. Cooper added that a nation that does not invest in its people should not yearn for development.
She also warned that if Liberians do not take an active interest in the education of young people, the evil spirits of hatred and greed will resurface and those spirits will haunt Liberians in all parts of the country.
She further urged Liberians to educate the youth to transform the country into a haven of peace, progress and development.
Madam Cooper, making those remarks last Thursday in Monrovia at the opening of the third General Assembly of the Liberia Immunization Platform (LIP), said an effective immunization program is critical for the development and growth of the country’s future leaders.
The immunization of children with requisite vaccines is a universal human right and as such, it should be the paramount concern of all Liberian leaders, she emphasized.
She told civil society members and the General Assembly that over the years, Liberia has nurtured an environment that spawned unproductive citizens who are uneducated and untrained.
She warned that if the children of Liberia are not educated and trained with professional skills, the country should be prepared to expect them to turn out to be what is referred to in Liberia as Zogos, or-at-risk citizens.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the MacDella Cooper Foundation stressed the need for substantial financial and logistical support to the Liberia Immunization Platform (LIP).
She warned that if the Zogos in Liberia are not given practical attention, the vicious cycle of poverty would force those underachievers to unleash terror and violence in the country.
She commended LIP as the civil society organization that has been in the forefront advocating for children to have access to immunization in Liberia.
In his remarks, the Assistant Director of National Health Promotion Division at the Ministry of Health, Richard Zeon, pledged to support LIP.
“Knock on our doors any time and we will be ready to serve you at all times for the immunization of our children in every part of our country,” Director Zeon pledged.
Dr. Roland Tuopiley of the World Health Organization (WHO) Liberia called on civil society members to consider leaving the lofty activities at their offices and move into communities that have not been reached in Liberia.
Dr. Tuopiley also challenged LIP members to exert efforts to strengthen the immunization program in Montserrado County since the county plays host to more children than anywhere in Liberia.
The Health Program Manager of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Madam Megan Palacios, lauded the collective effort of LIP member-organizations for the determination to advocate for the immunization of children in Liberia.
In remarks, Deputy Program Manager of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Adolphus Clarke stressed the need for the LIP leadership to exert efforts to enhance the immunization of children in the country.
Earlier, LIP Board Chairman George Stewart admonished LIP General Assembly members to exchange views in a frank manner and bring out suggestions for the development and growth of the immunization platform.