Liberia: Big Boost For Liberia’s Health Sector, As MOH Gets Set To Host 3rd Int’l CHW Symposium
Monrovia – The Government of Liberia through the Minister of Health (MOH) in collaboration with Golden Touch Corporation (GTC) is expected to host the 3rd edition of the International Community Health Workers (CHW) symposium.
Willie N. Tokpah/0777039231
The symposium is expected to bring together 40 countries from across the globe, to brainstorm on ways Community Health workers can work effectively to address health delivery in hard-to-reach communities, mostly rural settlements, where healthcare is a challenge.
“The conference is expected to bring together 40 different countries from every region of the world with 600 delegates including high-level government officials from other nations, some UN Agencies, the Africa Center for Disease Control, development partners, Community Health Champions, Community Health Workers, Researchers, and foreign missions accredited to Liberia,” Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah noted.
Addressing a press conference Tuesday, January 17, at her Congo Town Office, Health Minister, Dr. Jallah said the symposium, which is held every two years, is intended to provide an opportunity for advocacy for the host country and other nations for investment into its Community Health Program and the health system in general.
She noted that the 3rd International CHW symposium is critical and will be built on the Astana Declaration (2019), the African Union’s call for Two Million Community Health Workers (2020), the ongoing Global conversation around Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the previous two CHW Symposia (Uganda 2017 and Bangladesh 2019), and the Institutionalizing Community Health Conferences (ICHC 2017, and 2021).
According to her, participation in the symposium will be selected through a hybrid method; adding that many participants will be by invitation, while a considerable number of others will be by abstract applications.
Dr. Jallah maintained, that the theme of the third CHW Symposium is “Advancing Community Health Worker Programs to Build Resilient and Equitable Health Systems that Accelerate Primary Health Care for Universal Health Coverage,” and will run from March 20 to 24, with two days of pre-conference and three days’ main event, expected to take place at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf InterMinisterial Complex in Congo Town.
“There will be two-day pre-conference activities centered on country engagement; creating the space for experience sharing and collaborations amongst the Community Health Roadmap Countries, the Global Fund NFM4 application engagement, and any partner who may want to have pre-conference meetings or workshops,” Dr. Jallah averred.
Dr. Jallah let out that the main event will be guided by a global agenda that focuses on Global Best Practices Exchange, Community Health Financing, Community Health Workers Program Institutionalization, and Emerging Evidence and Innovations.
Additionally, she said the main event will be followed by a series of corresponding sessions of presentations, panel discussions, and plenaries as well as marketplaces for posters presentations, institutions engagement, sponsorship, and sales by accredited local vendors; stating that the event will climax with a closing ceremony, followed by an awards night for honoring key stakeholders and Community Health Workers from Liberia and other countries.
“With the collaboration and cooperation of the Ministry of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance Development Planning, Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, General Services Agency, Liberia National Police and Liberia Immigration Services, and all our supporting partners, we are confident to host the 3rd International CHW Symposium on March 20 to 24, 2023,” she said.
Since its launch in 2016, the National Community Health Program has not only transformed the healthcare delivery system of Liberia but also increased access to quality and affordable care to the doorsteps of rural communities.
According to Dr, Jallah, since its launch, CHW has conducted 8.9 million home visits including 551,951 pregnancy visits; treated 905,184 childhood cases of Malaria, Pneumonia, Diarrhea, and 1.2 million screening for Malnutrition cases; provided 446,388 women with access to family planning services, and refer over 355,000 pregnant women for Antenatal care and facility base delivery; and have identified and reported about 7,106 potential epidemic events excluding COVID-19.
Minister Jallah further used the medium to express gratitude to health partners, especially y to Health System Global, USAID, the Global Fund, World Bank, the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation, Last Mile Health, IRC, UNICEF, CHAL, Partner in Health, and the Community Health Road Map among others for their initial financial and technical support to the event.
Moreover, she expressed government applause for the Golden Touch Corporation (GTC) for working closely with the Ministry of Health in planning the event.
For its, part, Global Touch Corporation, in a statement said the event will explore themes and discussions about the value, importance, and contribution of CHWs to the global agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The statement explained that MOH is the lead institution in Liberia that is responsible for the hosting of the symposium, which is supported by developing partners.