President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Seed Global Health (SGH) to enter into an arrangement with the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia (UL) and other medical training institutions in the country to train medical practitioners who will improve health services in the country.
SGH is a United States based organization that seeks to strengthen health education in countries, such as Liberia, challenged by a shortage of health professionals. SGH had earlier expressed interest in working with Liberia.
SGH leadership over the weekend disclosed its intention to work with the Liberian government when a four-member delegation led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Vanessa Kerry, paid a courtesy call on the President in Monrovia.
President Sirleaf said her administration welcomes the partnership and cooperation with SGH to enhance the country’s healthcare delivery capacities. She underscored the compelling need to provide training for doctors, physicians, nurses as well as mid-wives, adding, “The progress we desire to make must be the best quality to achieve lasting and impressive results.”
She said SGH’s intervention in Liberia’s health sector, through the deployment of experienced medical volunteers in partnership with U.S. Peace Corps would tremendously impact the building of a resilient health system in Liberia.
The President also encouraged SGH to explore cooperation in the water and sanitation sector, particularly working with schools to ensure facilities are established and sustainably maintained for the good of the students.
Dr. Vanessa Kerry said her organization will work with Liberia to help meet its long-term health care and human resource needs.
This, she noted, would be done through the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) initiative. GHSP is a public-private collaboration between SGH, the Peace Corps and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The SGH, Dr. Kerry said, brings a rich experience and knowledge of medical and nursing education to resource limited settings.
“We provide expertise in site selection and applicant recruitment in addition to coordinating orientation and training, field support, monitoring and evaluation, and debt repayment stipends with expertise to identify effective teaching sites,” Dr. Kerry said.
Dr. Kerry, whose team had been in the country working with the Ministry of Health in areas that require quick interventions, expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for the audience.
While in the country, the SGH team visited the Phebe Hospital in Bong County, Cuttington University in Suakoko, J.F.K. Medical Center, the Tubman National Institute for Medical Arts (TNIMA), as well as the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences.
Meanwhile, USA Peace Corps Africa Regional Director, Dick Day, has praised the authorities at the Ministry of Health for the kind of structures already in place, which he said are vital for assisting partners interested in making critical interventions in the heath sector.
Mr. Day, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Mark Boulware and Peace Corps Liberia Director Kevin Fleming accompanied Dr. Vanessa Kerry.
Established in 2012, the GHSP program is a novel federal initiative addressing vast shortages of health professionals in many parts of the world.
The GHSP commits to helping increase clinical care capacities and strengthening health systems in resource-limited settings by cultivating the next generation of local doctors and nurses. The program places US health professionals alongside local medical and nursing faculty counterparts to meet the teaching needs identified at each partner institution.