U.S. Amb. Elder Calls for Investment in Pre-service Education

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Amb. Elder celebrates with some the honorees including the project implementers.
U.S. Ambassador Elder (2nd from right) celebrates with some of the honorees including those who implemented the project.

United States Ambassador to Liberia Christine Elder lauded Maternal Child Survival Program/Human Resource for Health (MCSP/HRH) for showcasing the project’s achievements over the past two years, but cautioned that to sustain the gains made by the project and to maintain quality healthcare for greater national impact, there must be continued investment in Pre-service Education.

Amb. Elder spoke at a ceremony marking the official end of Learning and Dissemination Event of the USAID-funded MCSP/HRH project, hosted in collaboration with authorities of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Pre-service, and partners in health, at a resort in Monrovia, on September 13, 2018.

The event was held under the theme, “Celebrating and Promoting Sustainable Pre-service Education for Quality Human Resources for Healthy Liberia: MCSP/HRH Empowering Midwives and Medical Laboratory Technicians.”

In her special remark, the US diplomat added: “It is evident from studies conducted after Ebola that serious shortages existed among midwives and laboratory technicians, these two important cadres of health workers who are critical to providing quality health services to women and children.”

Elder said that the project, in partnership with MoH and Pre-service Institutions (PSEIs), had significantly improved the teaching and learning environment at the six institutions, providing training for Midwives and Laboratory Technicians (MLTs).

“Their instructors are also better prepared to plan and deliver the training curriculum in keeping with global standards,” the US Envoy said.

Deputy Health Minister for Administration Norwu Howard commended the United States Government, through USAID, for numerous support to Liberia’s healthcare delivery system over the years, specifically in helping to reduce the high rate of maternal and neonatal deaths.

To the delight of the audience, Norwu presented certificates of recognition to the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Mission Health Team for supporting Pre-service Institutions for midwives and MLTs to build a fit for purpose health workforce that will eventually deliver quality healthcare, in order to accelerate the reduction of the high maternal mortality in the country.

Drs. Walter Gwenigale and Bernice Dahn, both former ministers of health, were also recognized for their “vision on the health workforce program” that was created during their leadership at the MoH (Ministry of Health).

Direct beneficiaries of the MCSP/HRH project are registered midwifery (RM) and/or the MLTs programs; Monrovia-based Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts; Winifred J. Harley College of Health Sciences; United Methodist University and the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences; Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery in Zorzor, Lofa County; Phebe Paramedical Training Program of Phebe, Bong County, and the Deanna K. Isaacson School of Midwifery, formerly the Midwifery Training Program for the Southeastern Region in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.

MCSP/HRH project has contributed significantly to USAID-Liberia’s strategy toward strengthening and expanding Liberia’s skilled health workforce, preventing child and maternal mortality through improving health workforce readiness, reinforcing entry-level registered midwives, and MLTs’ Pre-service Education.

The MCSP is the result of a global USAID cooperative agreement to introduce and support high-impact health interventions in 24 priority countries, with the ultimate goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths.

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