Liberia: “Global Partnership is Cardinal for Health Security” – President Weah Calls for Joint Efforts to Combat Health Crisis

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Monrovia – President George Manneh Weah has called for joint efforts to combat various health crisis affecting countries across the globe.

President Weah at the commissioning ceremony of the Polio Emergency Center in Monrovia, stated that “partnership is cardinal for health security.”

“An outbreak in one country is an outbreak anywhere. Without collaboration and support from our international partners, it would be impossible to succeed at stopping any virus such as Covid-19 or polio from overwhelming our health system,” President Weah said.

This is why he believes the strong partnership given to Liberia, by key development partners, must be appreciated by every citizen.

Due to this, President Weah has lauded volunteers overseas, to include Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Rotary International, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention for their supports to advancing health service delivery in Liberia.

He said the commissioning of the Polio Emergency Center was another important milestone to the health sector in Liberia, as it will enhance Government’s capacity and capability to control public health threats, including the polio virus. 

Because of the importance the Polio Emergency Center attached to Liberia’s health system, Weah has emphasized the need for a stronger national leadership and the development of a well-coordinated crisis response capability. 

He noted that the Polio Emergency Outbreak Center, will serve as a central command and control center in Liberia, to give strategic direction for public health operational decisions, coordinate partnerships for health security, and direct implementation of national public health response strategies.  

“I am informed that Liberia is among the first African countries to defeat the wild-polio virus, with the last confirmed case in August 2010, and that we have continued to sustain wild-polio free status until the whole of the African region was certified virus-free in August 2020,” President Weah said.

“This is why Liberia has been relatively successful in managing the COVID-19 outbreak at an acceptable level so far, which is a testimony of my Government’s resolve to protect the lives of all Liberians.” 

However, he stressed that Liberia was shocked, in December 2020, a new case of Polio virus was detected in Monrovia from two environmental sites. 

Weah then guaranteed the Minister of Health assurance to swiftly deal such any unfortunate event. 

According to him, there are advanced plans for a nationwide polio vaccination campaign, which is planned to begin this February, to mitigate and contain future importation of cases from neighboring countries.

“In this light, the establishment and dedication today of this Polio Emergency Outbreak Center is timely, as it will serve as the operational arm of the public health service to provide effective response to this new development,” President Weah averred.

“As an indication of that, I am making a public commitment today to hold quarterly meetings with all of you, through the instrumentality of the Minister of Health, so that I will be kept abreast of your progress and all other developments.”

Meanwhile, President Weah has urged all Liberians and foreign residents to continue with the preventive measures against COVID-19 that have been issued by the Ministry of Health. 

He believes, this is the most cost-effective way to contain this disease and enable the country to appropriately recover from the havoc unleashed by COVID-19.

Weah then commended the Ministry of Health for taking the polio emergency campaign and leading this process.

He maintained that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has “claimed over two million lives across the globe makes us ever mindful of the importance of investing in our public health system, in order to strengthen its abilities to effectively address the needs of our people.”   

President Weah added: “Our country has the experience and capacity to immunize all eligible children. I therefore call on all parents and health workers to ensure that the polio vaccine is administered to all of these children.   Let us work together and cooperate fully with the health authorities to save our children from the scourge of polio.”

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