The KOICA-funded HSR Project, being piloted in Liberia since April 2019, is aimed at making health services resilient with quality for emergency preparedness and response in Liberia. The review and adaptation workshop, which was held at the Corina Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia, brought together about 25 participants from Ministries of Health & Education, various professional bodies, training institutions (including the Adventist University of West Africa or AUWA) for health professionals, and WHO onsite and online, from July 14-15, 2021. In his opening remarks, Dr. Charles Ocan, Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) Advisor for WHO Country Office in Liberia, thanked KOICA, MOH, NPHIL and relevant institutions for supporting HSS efforts in Liberia.
He said CPD is one of the ways to strengthen human resources for health (HRH) to respond disease outbreaks including the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain essential services. He added that the output of the workshop will further inform ongoing efforts to revise and update key health system policies and strategies in Liberia. After remarks from representatives of professional orders and the Directors for Policy at the MOE, the Assistant Minister for Curative Services/Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Gorbee Logan, appreciated WHO and partners for supporting efforts to strengthen HSR in Liberia. He added that promoting health service quality and resilience through pre-service and CPD is critical to build a fit-for-purpose and competent health workforce in Liberia.
“As we move toward building resilience in our health system especially during this time of emergency, this workshop is aligned with the overall goal of MOH to strengthen health security and routine essential health services delivery in Liberia,” Dr. Logan added. Also speaking at the workshop, via an online platform (Zoom), Dr. Sohel Saikat, KOICA Project lead (in Geneva, Switzerland) provided a background of the HSR project in Liberia, including its objectives and expected outcomes. He defined health systems resilience - “The ability to forecast, prevent and prepare for, as well as respond to, emergencies and sustain the provision of essential health services during shock events and recover while learning and improving based on experience.”
He expressed optimism that the workshop will improve dialogues and advocacies for the integration of the project training package into CPD program to enhance capacity of health professionals to monitor, evaluate and report on health service quality and resilience.
For his part, the WHO National Technical Lead Officer for the KOICA-HSR Project in Liberia, Moses B. Bolongei, presented the overall objectives of the workshop and the expected outputs. He said the main aim of the workshop is to adapt the project training package and advocate for the integration of healthcare quality and resilience into Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programs for health professionals in Liberia. He noted that the training is intended to support policymakers at the ministries of Health,
Education and stakeholders to establish and maintain programs such as Continuing Medical Education (CME) series and Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) as well as defining practical strategies and propose a roadmap for the integration of resilience and quality competences of Liberia’s Health system. Meanwhile, the quality of healthcare services in Liberia needs to be strengthened for it to meet the healthcare needs of all persons and keep communities safe. At the end of the meeting, a key strategy to integrate quality & resilience into CPD is to update content and promote existing digital platforms like the World Continuing Education Alliance hosted by the Liberia Medical and Dental Council.