The Interim Board Chair of the Liberia Immunization Platform (LIP) Joyce Kilikpo Jarwolo has told colleagues at the Platform’s 4th General Assembly (GA) that it was no better time for them to renew their commitment by saving the lives of Liberian children than at a time when there is a new national leadership that is pushing for a “pro-poor” agenda.
“This is an agenda that seeks to improve access to health for the most vulnerable in our society; this makes it an even greater time ever to push as civil societies for increased political will and commitment for equitable access to immunization,” Madam Jarwolo said while officially opening the GA.
Madam Jarwolo noted that immunization ranks as the most cost-effective health interventions for girls and boys, delivering a high ratio of health benefits—lives saved and illness prevented— especially where the burden of disease is high in the country. “This means immunization is one of the best uses of limited public funds for health, an agenda which we shouldn’t relent in pushing,” she added.
The LIP on Friday convened its General Assembly and over 20 affiliating organizations were in attendance. They had converged not just to renew their commitment, but also to hold themselves accountable as they gather at this highest decision making event.
The gathering, according to Madam Jarwolo, was meant to strengthen the cords that bond them. “In this vein I mean our policies, constitution and elections of leaders that will ensure an LIP that is focused on impacting equitable access to immunization, while we discuss problems of mutual interest with delegates from the region.”
She called on members of the CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) to keep track of Government progress towards implementation of international commitments, such as the African Declaration on Immunization and ensure that Government delivers if LIP wants to reach the 2020 targets as set in the GAVI.
“As a platform moving forward, we will track the vaccines, the finances, the legislation, and engage our leaders more on equitable access to immunization, for the lives of Liberian children and that of the general public depends on it,” Madam Jarwolo said.
The guest speaker, J. Wilfred Zeon, called on the members to be robust as they go about helping Liberian kids, adding, “You need to set yourself apart to make the difference and, from what I’m seeing here today, it convinces me to believe that you are different,” Zeon said. He is from Partners in Health, a USAID project.
The agenda of the 4th General Assembly covers a wide range of various issues relating to the well-functioning of the platform, especially those directly related to the governance of the platform and overall visibility of LIP at the county and national levels.
To this end, LIP Program Manager, Monica Nyorkor Moore, highlighted significant progress made under the leadership of the current board.