Dr. Jallah tells hundreds of laboratory technicians at Lab Week conference
The Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has assured that the CDC led-Government will ensure that more Liberians have access to quality healthcare.
On Tuesday, April 24, at the start of a two-day celebration of the 4th Africabio Enterprises Inc., Laboratory Week conference, at the Monrovia City Hall, she expressed the hope that the provision of quality healthcare would reverse the poor health indices in the country because the pro-poor government will fulfill all its promises to the people.
Dr. Jallah said the conference came on the right time when President George Weah called on his cabinet ministers to promote the pro-poor agenda as they developed health policies to implement activities in both the private and the public sector.
“I am confident that with the help of our partners, our citizens under this pro-poor government, can rest assured that we will deliver the services that the people so rightly deserve,” she said.
In 2014, Dr. Jallah recalled that over 3,000 lives were lost including physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians and other health professionals, “which was a very trying time for Liberians because the country health care system was damaged.”
The health minister stated that the theme: “Building Sustainable Post Ebola,” reminded her of a fragile health care system back then, especially when the laboratory system could not immediately use to diagnose what was going on with patients who fell prey to the deadly disease.
She said the EVD epidemic’s samples from patients were flown out of the country for testing and “we all know that very well. As we celebrate the Lab Week and continue to discuss how to strengthen our resilient and sustainable health care system, we must understand that achieving such an important task is not going to be easy.”
“However, let me assure you of the president’s commitment to an effective social safety net for the poor and the vulnerable to enable them to have access to health care,” Dr. Jallah said.
The health minister further encouraged lab technicians to ensure accountability; transparency. “We must be responsible citizens and fully understand the need to be reliable and accurate in our service to the people. To date, Liberia has a draft Laboratory policy; a strategy in place that still awaits finalization. We are working on full accreditation of our entire laboratory and it is evident by what is happening in different counties. Nine are in this region while five in the southeastern region. The draft Laboratory policy details special activities, to strengthen Liberia’s laboratory service over the next five years,” she said.
“It includes mobilization of resources because they are very important and we can do anything we don’t have resources for, financial resources, human resources and technology resources and other forms of support program and services in order to promote the coordination of donors and all of the programs,” she said.
She said in order for “us to build a resilient health care system, we must first make a proper diagnosis; we must build a quality lab system with well-trained, well-paid technicians, and the new reference Laboratory which is being constructed at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia. We have several labs at our disposal which can be found at ELWA Junction, JFK, and other places.”
The two days event highlighted Liberia’s diagnostic environment and celebrated lab professionals, who are usually forgotten for playing critical roles in the country’s health system.