Liberia Public Health Institute Conducts Annual Review Conference
Monrovia – A three-day progress review and planning conference organized by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) gets underway in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County with commendation from stakeholders for job well done in the midst of challenges.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, February 21, the Acting Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh commended NPHIL and partners for the tremendous work they have done within a brief period of its existence; some of which included the rapid response and controlled of the meningococcal diseases in Lofa County in January 2018.
“The theme of this review is very interesting and captivating. Strengthening Evidence Based Public Health – a Clarion Call to National Duty. This is indeed unique, especially at this time.”
“When we talk about clarion call, as a nation, I think it was put to practice during the time history was being made in this country where this clarion call must come to balance what is classified as a security risk versus a national interest.”
“And I think the way it was handled was very unique, it went very well. And I want to say thank you to the team in Lofa and NPHIL and all of our partners that worked collaboratively to make sure that things were done, and the disease did not spill out all into Sierra Leone and Guinea,” he enthused.
Dr. Karteh, declaring the conference officially open, admonished NPHIL not to only look at its achievement over the course of last year, but to closely review challenges encountered to find innovative ways in mitigating future outbreak.
“As we review the activities of the past, it is important that we do not only look at the achievements, we also must look at the challenges. Because if we have no challenge, then we all zombies because we will have nothing to think about.”
“You need a challenge to help you strengthen your tough processes in making sure that you can find innovative ways to mitigate what may come in the future. So, it is important that we look at these challenges,” he admonished.
Outlining series of achievements, NPHIL Director General, Tolbert G. Nyenswah noted that has now developed a road map under the Global Health Security Agenda and is on course to meeting some of the core objectives of the international health regulations.
Nyenswah added that in addition to the ongoing construction of NPHIL headquarters in Monrovia, plans are under way for the construction of regional office in Gbarnga Bong County.
He further that NPHIL has developed several operational documents including the Emergency Contingency Plan and Standard Operating Procedure for air and sea support where pathogens and chemical related explosive arriving at our air and sea ports can be detected and contained.
He also noted that the government’s pro poor agenda will only be realized in the health sector when healthcare delivery system is improved.
“For us in health, when you save the lives of new born, and change the survival rate and improve the living of children, then you provide pro poor care.”
“When you save pregnancy and make women to deliver safely with their babies and have a happy family, then you provide poor services.”
“If you improve the nutritional status of children, then you improve or reduce stunting and wasting and improve the cognitive development of children, you provide pro poor services.”
“If you enhance and increase the immunization coverage of a country, that children can be prevented from vaccine preventable diseases, it is part of our pro poor work, if you reduce illness or death from diseases like HIV/Aids TB, provide clean quality drinking water are all critical pro poor services,” he noted.
The event is being attended by major stakeholders in the health sector including national and international partners.