Liberia: VP Howard-Taylor Renews Gov’t Commitment to Building ‘Resilient’ Health Sector


Monrovia – Vice-President Jewel Howard-Taylor has recommitted the Government of Liberia’s support towards ongoing progress in the health sector of Liberia.

Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]

Following the 2014 Ebola pandemic, which claimed the lives of thousands of Liberians and decimated the already weak health system, Liberia, with support from its international partners including the World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), continues to make stride to strengthen the health sector.

One of the significant steps, according to officials was the establishment of the One Health Coordinated Platform in Liberia (OHCP) to prevent, detect and respond to health threats.

OHCP is chaired by the Office of the Vice President.

Speaking at the 2nd OHCP meeting on Wednesday, June 27, VP Howard-Taylor said for the OHCP to be a success in mitigating potential health risk and alleviating poverty, it requires the collective efforts of government, partners and the community.

“It is the government’s deep desire to see the mental, physical and psychological health condition of our population lifted to a better level. We can only fully assure that our government will keep its part of the bargain and continue to make health a critical national concern at the top level of our national pro-poor agenda.”

She thanked the key partners in the formulation of the platform and noted that with the One Health Platform, government and partners will put the rudiments of basic public health infrastructures in place; adding that “only by putting in place a network of community dwellers taking ownership and the healthcare system providing oversight and materials that are needed can we be confident that what we are doing here is a workable, impactful and sustainable system.”

During the meeting, the Vice President launched the Joint National Action Plans for Health Security in Liberia and the National Action Plans on the Prevention and Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Liberia.

Following the launching ceremony, she called on the Ministry of Health and partners to scale up the fight against malaria and neonatal death and maternal mortality in Liberia.

“I do not believe that the One Health Platform will be an effective platform if we do not raise this as a major issue of contention for which we should put in place something serious like we did during the Ebola. The issue of maternal mortality is serious and must draw the attention of everyone,” she urged.

Also speaking, the Director-General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Tolbert Nyenswah, noted that in the wake of the Ebola epidemic, the human-animal and environmental health interface of these three areas are very much critical in our health systems in the context of preventing, detecting and responding to disease outbreak, especially infectious disease that may pose threat to our country.

“The ecology of interaction between these sectors is very much important to our well-being. The SDGs also call for the interaction of these areas, animal, environment, and the health system. The context of One health has taken root in Liberia to the extent that in the last year we made very significant progress in Liberia. Liberia has made progress on the implementation of the one health platform,” he averred.