Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has reaffirmed Liberia’s capacity to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), where all communities will have access to quality health services.
Making reference to the experience of the devastating 2014-2015 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, Dr. Jallah indicated “if we Liberians want to reach UHC, we can do it as a country. We need to take responsibility and demonstrate strong ownership of our health system, from the community level, frontline primary health care facilities right up to specialized tertiary hospitals. This will be complemented by the contributions our partners are making to improve our healthcare delivery system.”
Dr. Jallah made these remarks while receiving a donation worth USD55, 000 from the World Health Organization (WHO). The donation included a state of the art ambulance as well as medical supplies to respond to the scabies outbreak that has affected 10 counties in 2018.
Dr. Jallah applauded WHO and other partners for their technical, financial and logistical support to the Ministry of Health (MoH). She confirmed that the donation will be used for the intended purpose.
For the medication to treat scabies, which is locally called “be serious” because of the longer time it takes people to be treated, the Minister called on the public to do its part to ensure that homes and surroundings are clean.
WHO Representative to Liberia Dr. Alex Gasasira commended the Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), partners, and stakeholders for the gains that have been made in increasing access to essential health services. Over the last ten years, there has been an appreciable increase in the number of pregnant women attending antenatal clinics during pregnancy as well as women delivering in health facilities rather than at home.
As a result, the proportion of women whose deliveries are supported by skilled birth attendants have also increased. Dr. Gasasira also applauded the enhanced capacity for disease surveillance that has been developed in Liberia particularly since the end of the devastating outbreak.
Despite the progress registered, Liberia is yet to achieve national, regional or global health targets. It is in this regard that a joint United Nations Project, involving UNFPA( United Nations Population Fund), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fun), and WHO, funded by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund, is supporting the efforts of the Liberia Government to strengthen sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn, child and adolescent health in Montserrado County.
Under this project, WHO is responsible for supporting the Ministry of Health, to provide essential logistical support to three beneficiary health clinics-Koon Town Clinic, Nyenhn Health Center and the Bensonville Hospital.
In addition to the ambulance, WHO donated 10,000 bottles of Benzyl Benzoate Lotion (25%) to augment the containment of an outbreak of scabies in ten counties.