Liberia: Ministry of Health Holds 10th National Health Review Conference

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Paynesville – As part of efforts to evaluate the gains made and pinpoint the challenges ahead, the Ministry of Health along with both local and international development partners on Monday, December 3, 2018 began its 10th National Health Review Conference at the Paynesville City Hall.

Report by J. H. Webster Clayeh, [email protected]

The themes of the three-day Health Conference are: Making Universal Health Coverage a Reality and Reversing the Trend in Maternal and Neonatal Mortality, a National Call to Action.

The conference promotes accountability, transparency and performance for quality service delivery within the health sector. 

It also review and document the health sector performance in FY 2017 to 2018 and identifies the challenges impeding the delivery of services in the health sector and document best practices and proffer solutions to mitigate challenges ahead.

Giving the official opening statement, the Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah adviced that in order to have a robust health sector, there should be “mid-year review of the health sector.”

“Maybe we need to have a mid-year review of what we are doing so by the time we come to the end of the year we will have more good news than ever before,” Dr. Jallah said, adding that since the end of the Ebola, the government has made serious important steps toward building a resilience health sector.

According to the MOH Boss, health is within the number one pillow in the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperities and Development (PAPD), adding that it (health) gives power to the people. 

“That tells you that we cannot sit here only as healthcare workers talking to ourselves. We need to get the people involve. Most of the time, we talk about HIV, cancer and it’s only us… We need to invite every ministry superintendents and others to come because we want them to take the message back to the various areas,” she said.

 “We would like you to participate fully during this discussion because we believe that the full accountability is the critical hallmark of good governance and power to the people.”  

As the discussion continued, Dr. Jallah said maternal and newborn health would be taking seriously in order to find a way to reduce maternal mortality.

“If we can improve maternal mortality and infant mortality, it involves all of the other sectors. If we can take one hospital and say we will make sure that no woman will not die that means everyone coming to that hospital will get a better healthcare including the mothers and the babies.” 

“To recognize the relevance of this conference we must connect it to the 16 days of activism to highlight women rights to health as human rights.” 

Also in attending was veteran missionary, Sister Barbara Brilliant, who said it was her 41st National Health review conference she was attending. She has also been in the Liberian health sector for over 40 years.

“The problems we have today are universal; if we want to care for our people in Liberia, we all need to be involved,” Sis Barbara advised.

“County health officers, you are the key. If you manage your county you will know in your county how many public, how many private and how many faith-base healthcare centers you have and if you call us together and if we work together we can make this a reality.”

Also, for his part, Grand Kru County Senator Peter Colman, who is the chair on the Liberian Senate Health committee, said he is hopeful that solutions will be found to deal with the appalling healthcare system of the country.

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