The Acting Country Director of Welthungerhilfe (WHH), an international German NGO, has disclosed that his institution will soon commence the construction or rehabilitation of nine health facilities in four counties in Southeastern Liberia, including Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, River Gee and Grand Kru counties.
Jackson Nabaala, made the disclosure on Thursday, October 1, 2020, during a one-day Project steering committee meeting held at a local resort in Paynesville.
The meeting brought together stakeholders from WHH, representatives of government ministries including, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Finance Development and Planning (MFDP), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and Ministry of Internal Affairs, to discuss progress and challenges of the project.
The project, titled, ‘Heath System Strengthening Project’ is a 15 million Euros project sponsored by the government of Germany and implemented by WHH, in collaboration with the Government of Liberia (GOL).
Nabaala said the rehabilitation of the facilities is expected to start early November, 2020.
According to him, the facilities, when completed, will be furnished with staff accommodations, water supply systems, solar power as a source of electricity as well as selected biomedical equipment.
“We shall also train the health workers on the use of the equipment; management and maintenance of the facilities for the purpose of sustainability,” he added.
Additionally, he said, the project shall also address the issue of malnutrition through a multi-sector approach of linking agriculture and natural management toward improving food and nutrition security.
Nabaala said that the project should have started long time ago, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told stakeholders that the project is so crucial in addressing the health needs of the residents and, as such, it was important that they continue to meet and discuss the progress and challenges to ensure the successful implementation.
“We have a mandate to ensure that we continue to meet to prevent those challenges to enable us focus on those areas that we need to improve,’ he said.
He said that his institution is committed to ensuring that the project gets implemented on time but it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to ensure ownership.
“The government through the relevant ministries need to speed up the approval process and design as well as the communities to participate in the entire process without having any issues,” he added.
The WHH Acting Country Director, said that the collaboration between his institution and partners is very cordial describing it as a good recipe to the success of the project.
“I am very confident that the project management team is working very hard to ensure that the project become successful,” he said.
In a related development, Nabaala said that his institution is also engaged in providing support to the Government to fight the deadly coronavirus.
According to him they have made several interventions to educate residents on how to prevent the pandemic as well as support them with some anti-virus materials.
The Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical officer of Liberia Dr. Franscis Kateh said that the government and people of Liberia were very thankful to the government of Germany for strengthening the health care delivery system in the country.
“Many of the health facilities being built many years back have reached a stage of dilapidation and in the past the Government of Germany has been working to improve on some of these facilities,” he said. “This is very good for the health care delivery of the country so that our people can receive better health care.”
He said that the due to the economic challenges facing the government, the Ministry has now engaged communities to ensure that they begin to contribute to their own health to ensure sustainability in the health sector.
“This country has nearly 500 public health facilities but our major problem is the lack of ownership. We would like to see that the communities helping the Government to take care of nurses and doctors to ensure sustainability within the health sector,” he said.