The World Bank Liberia in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, convened a three-day stakeholders Consultation workshop which addresses institutional binding constraints to achieving desire heath outcomes in the country. The forum will end on Friday, February 15, 2019.
The forum, which started at a resort in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, is hosted under the theme, “Identifying a Results Path.” It has so far brought together some visiting health officials, World Bank Liberia, representatives from MOH, National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and The Cater Center, respectively.
It intends to also address institutional binding constraints in order to achieve Liberia’s desired health outcome and other key areas affecting the sector.
Ms. Larisa Leshchenko, World Bank-Liberia Country Manager, said her institution will continue to partner with the Liberian government, to strengthen capacity of the country’s healthcare delivery system for the sustainable management of available resources.
Leshchenko expressed gratitude to the government for its effort aimed at strengthening the country’s health system, adding: “We look forward to continuing this partnership to further develop the health system.”
She said while the country is rebuilding its health system following years of destruction as a result of 14 years of civil crisis, much remains to be done in the sector. “For example, we are concerned about maternal mortality rates and teenage pregnancy rates, which are among the highest in West Africa and the world.”
“While many technical solutions will continue to be implemented,” Leshchenko added, “our experience suggests that these will need to be supported by governance, institutional and organizational reforms.”
She said there are a range of areas that Liberia recognizes as critical challenges which, according to her, include human resource management, drug supply and drug management systems, bringing citizens’ voices into health governance, and improving transparency and accountability at different levels of the system.
Ms. Leshchenko continued, “The workshop aims to examine the issues of right personnel assigned at the right facilities, and not at the right time; whether communities feel ownership for the facilities and their own health; citizens participation in the governance, management and oversight of health facilities, etc.”
Additionally, she said, if Liberia wants to improve its ratings on human capital index and boost health outcomes, the country needs to think much about the critical pathways to results, because the agenda of institutional reforms is critical for those exercises.
Underscoring the importance of human capital development in the health sector, Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah thanked the World Bank for organizing such a forum.
“As we commit ourselves to improving the quality of care in the health system, consider reviewing our clinical practice at the front line-primary level; review and uphold clinical standards, we must remain committed to improving the sector,” Minister Jallah said.
Minister Jallah called on partners to engage and empower patients/families/communities-patients’ rights charter; provide information and education for health workers, managers and policymaker-feedback and in-service training; scale-up performance-based incentives (financial and non-financial).