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Official of the NGO Partner in Health, Jessica Healey Official of the NGO Partner in Health, Jessica Healey

Financial Crises Key Challenge In Quality Healthcare Provision - Says Healey

An official of the NGO Partner in Health, Jessica Healey, has observed that financial crisis is a major challenge in providing quality health services and protecting healthcare workers in the country.

"We understand that some of the budget challenges are outside of the Ministry of Health's control, but we continue to urge the ministry to ensure efficiency of human resources and operations to push as many available resources as possible to the level of care and to the beneficiaries in Liberia," Healey stressed.
 
Speaking on Tuesday at the 11th Joint National Health Review Conference held at the Ministerial Conference in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, Healey said human resources, supply chain, domestic resources mobilization, health financing, information for decision-making, emergency preparedness and response, and overall access to primary health are very cardinal in developing the health sector of the country.
 
According to her, the gains made under the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) in post-Ebola Liberia have been impressive and far-reaching, but encouraged the ministry to stay vigilant in prioritizing prevention and response as well as infection prevention and control to ensure that the gains made are sustained and protected.
 
She added that the Ministry's priorities are ending preventable maternal deaths, ensuring an effective workforce, and improving primary healthcare, while preventing and responding to outbreaks when they occur.
 
The official also recommended to the Ministry that government should focus on decentralization of leadership, accountability, supply chain, evidence-based decision-making, and meaningful citizens’ engagement and performance, minimizing administrative layers and prioritizing health workers.
 
"We would like to acknowledge that this is a challenging time for the MOH from the center to the remote health workers, and those from other countries may be removed from the direct impact but we see the challenges and stand with you in your aims to improve the health sector," Healey emphasized.
 
In remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, said the MOH is responsible for meeting the heath needs of the Liberian citizenry by providing a viable and responsive healthcare delivery system which will permeate every urban and rural community of Liberia.
 
According to the Health Minister, the ministry is also continuing its effort to expand health services to the majority of the Liberian population, shifting from costly curative, intensive programs to cost-effective, preventive oriented community-based primary healthcare programs.
 
"The national delivery is designed to provide, in a complementary manner, preventive and curative health services throughout the country with particular emphasis on maternal newborn and child health (MNCH) services, including immunization and nutrition services, infection prevention and control health promotion," Jallah indicated.
 
She recalled that in 2018, the MOH and partners conducted a service availability and readiness assessment which covered 765 facilities, with the highest number of facilities (268 or 35%) in Montserrado County, while Grand Kru and Gbarpolu Counties have the least number of 17 health facilities in both counties which constitutes 4.8% of the total number of health facilities,
 
In addition, she said, the assessments also showed that majority of health facilities in Liberia are clinics which constitute 87.7% of health centers; hospitals 4.9%, with a little over half (56.7,% ) of the facilities in rural communities.
 
The Health Minister, however, said the limited understanding of health system barriers to delivery and utilization of these affordable and effective intervention in counties and districts where actual service delivery take place in many low-income countries.

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