The Liberia Immunization Platform (LIP) has emphasized that child immunization is critical to Liberia’s socio-economic growth, development and progress.
This assertion was contained in a statement by the chairman of LIP, Mr. George Stewart, at the opening ceremony Monday of a one-day seminar on community mapping of 10 communities in Montserrado County.
Chairman Stewart also urged the LIP participants, mainly community leaders, health workers and critical public service providers to be diligent in their work.
The seminar, organized under the theme, “Improved Routine Immunization Project Training”, brought together 30 participants and highly qualified professionals as presenters.
According to the organizers, the seminar is being carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW).
It may be recalled that the LIP leadership has organized and recruited 22 civil society groups intended to advocate meticulously for the immunization of Liberian children and child bearing mothers.
Making the first presentation, LIP’s Secretary General James B. Ballah provided a synopsis on “Leadership: A Framework for Thinking and Acting.”
He reminded participants that as community leaders and critical health providers, they should strive to solve critical challenges and problems through dialogue and consultations and act as leaders with solid negotiation skills.
Mr. Ballah also disclosed that through a project proposal MOHSW has provided US$21,500.00 for the current community mapping initiative in Montserrado County.
Of this amount, Mr. Ballah indicated that the MOHSW has advanced US$16,000.00 for the current mapping exercise in 10 communities and health facilities in Montserrado County.
Initially, the immunization coverage for Montserrado County had risen to 85% due to the sustained immunization initiated by the MOHSW and its critical health partners.
But immunization coverage has declined to 61% in Montserrado County and other areas in Liberia as a result of the Ebola virus spread in the country, said Mr. Ballah.
Asked why the immunization coverage in Montserrado County continues to decline, the LIP secretary general noted that it is due to the huge population growth over the years in Liberia.
Another presenter was the data clerk on the Expanded Program Immunization (EPI) of the MOHSW, Madam Alice Peters who urged the participants to work with all child bearing mothers in order to ensure the effective immunization of all Liberian children.
She provided an outline on EPI vaccines and schedules as they relate to the programs being designed by the Ministry of Health.
For her part, LIP project coordinator Karla Roberts spoke on the Mapping Tools and Exercise and called on participants to make maximum use of the tools at their disposal in their assigned areas.