MONROVIA –Dr. Francis N. Kateh, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, has called for a holistic approach to remedying the country’s health system that will be beneficial to all.
But for this to work, he says trust is the key. “Our Health System has to be Rebranded on the theme, ‘Trust Your Health System for a Vibrant and Sustainable Liberia’. As you all are aware, health plays a pivotal role in our lives; hence, the conduit for providing health has to be trusted, placing emphasis on a holistic approach from the accreditation of schools to the recruitment of students, monitoring and evaluating the various institutions, and making sure that they are preparing the future healthcare providers with the requisite knowledge,” Dr. Kateh said.
He made the statement when he spoke at a civil society forum aimed at strengthening CSOs to advocate for a vibrant health sector.
Dr. Kateh said health plays a pivotal role in the lives of citizens; hence, the conduit for providing health has to be trusted, placing emphasis on a holistic approach from the accreditation of schools to the recruitment of students, monitoring and evaluating the various institutions, and making sure that they are preparing the future healthcare providers with the requisite knowledge.
Kateh said in the same vein, standardization should never be compromised at any level.
He added, “When future providers understand the task they have to bear and the result that may yield to better or cessation of life, the burden of delivering effective and efficient health, inclusive of prevention, is key to maintaining one’s health, but if that is not done, the curative aspect has to be appropriately diagnosed, followed by succinct management, which can’t be overemphasized.”
He, however, urged the health CSO participants not to compromise their advocacy for personal gains, but should go about doing their advocacy with a clear understanding of the subject.
“Advocacy, he added, dictates understanding what one is advocating for. For example, you can’t make a blanket statement, that the health system is a mess. You need to clearly articulate what aspect within the system that is not performing leading to the failure outcome.
“By asking the appropriate questions, one would easily find the weakest link and the appropriate actions could be developed to have it fixed. This leads us to the rebranding. TRUST is the key. When a system is not trusted, it becomes difficult to be marketed.”
Kateh said, “You have a great role to play that would ultimately lead to trust between the health system and the general public. You are the gatekeeper and the bridge that links the two.”
Earlier, the Executive Director of Naymote, Eddie D. Jarwolo, told the participants that the shared-vision workshop for the health coalition partners is designed to build relationships, develop a shared vision, and define the roles and responsibilities of each coalition partner within the coalition.
“The health CSOs will learn how to participate in health advocacy, strategy development, policy engagement, and budget training on gender and social inclusion,” he disclosed.
He further said that as part of the workshop, the participants will learn how to develop policy influence trackers that include a GESI dimension, enabling coalition members to monitor and report on the coalition’s effort to mainstream GESI consideration in analysis and advocacy, etc.
“Today, what we are going to do is build their capacity to develop strategies in terms of advocacy to ensure that the health system improves for all Liberians at a different level,” Eddie added.
According to him, the training is also meant to identify gaps within the health sector and how healthcare delivery can be improved in the country as well.
Francis Kempah, CSA Deputy Chief of Party, praised the executive director of Naymote and other collaborators for organizing the training that will increase Liberians’ ability to advocate for policy execution and changes, among other things.
The CSOs project is a five-year program designed to track development challenges in the nation, Kempah told the participants.
“Basically, it is intended to advocate for change in the system and ensure that things are working properly. Policymakers are committed to what they are supposed to do,” he concluded.