By: John Dennis Weah, Jr.
A health sector conference has concluded and advanced a resolution urging all donors, UN Agencies, local and international partners as well as faith-based and to align their financial, technical and material support to the implementation of the government‘s Pro-Poor Agenda and Plan, and National Health and Social Welfare Policy and Plan (2015-2021) to sustain the gains made over the last 13 years.
The 3-day conference held at the Paynesville City Hall outside Monrovia which has just ended marked the 10th Annual Health Sector Review Conference and has also recommended in its resolution that the Government of Liberia maintains the Health Sector as a priority sector in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development plan to be implemented in the next 5 years while at the same time
During the conference which lasted from December 3-5 and brought together various stakeholders including health sector workers, the stakeholders also advance additional seven-points in the resolution in which the government also commits to mobilizing Domestic Resources for supporting the Health Sector in the midst of decrease donor funding to the sector.
The resolution further called on the government to continue to strengthen Surveillance Emergency preparedness and Response capacity and to maintain prevention, detection and response to outbreaks through a robust surveillance system, laboratory capacity amongst others.
“That the MOH reaffirms its utmost commitment to mobilizing resources, effectively implementation and monitoring The Family Planning’s cost implementation plan, Liberia every newborn action plan (LENAP), adolescent empowerment strategy and 2018 revised maternal and newborn health action plan in the effort to reduce maternal and newborn mortality,” the resolution revealed.
Another count of the resolution provides that the Ministry of Health focuses on addressing the health workforce issues including those affecting high attribution and payroll related problems which have the potential to cause a major set-up to the performance in service-delivery.
It also provides that the issue of stock-out of Essential Medicine, Supplies and Equipment and quality of commodities be adequately addressed to improve the quality of services provided to the population.
“Ministry of Health continues to ensure that health care services are provided to the population with emphasis on ‘Quality of Care’ and ensure financial risk protection for all, in addition to improving access to health services,” the resolution maintained.
According to the document, copy of which was sent to The ANALYST, the MOH improves its Partnership with Major Service Providers (Private, Faith based) etc. and providers continue to complement government’s efforts in the provision of quality health care services with government.
“That the Ministry of Health creates the enabling environment and continues to provide support and strengthen health Regulatory institutions to ensure the continuous monitoring of the delivery of quality health care services to the population and maintain the safety, rights of health workers and patients,” the resolution added.
The objectives of the conference are to review and document the performance 2017-2018, identify key challenges impeding the delivery of services in the Health Sector and document best practices and proffer solution to mitigate challenges within the Liberian Health Sector.
The Theme for this year’s conference is “Making Universal Health Coverage a Reality: Reducing Maternal and Neonatal Mortality, A National Call to Action.”
Key amongst other things, are the successful organization of the 9th Annual Health Conference since 2008 focusing on key areas relevant to the Health Sector as themes for the conferences followed by the hosting of the 10th Annual Review Conference, which the resolution sets as the 1st Health Conference by the New Administration under the leadership of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led Government.
This year’s conference theme highlights the Global Agenda of Universal Health Coverage “ which means that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative of health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose user to financial hardship.
Maternal and Neonatal Mortality remains high in Liberia and serves as critical indicators that define the Health Status of a country;
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and her partners decided that the issue of high Maternal and Neonatal Mortality be a National Call to Action;
The Ministry of Health’s goal for the 10th Annual Health Sector Review Conference is to promote accountability, transparency and performance for quality service delivery within the Health Sector”.
The report is also quoted as saying that the implementation of this year’s plan was done during a transition of national leadership from past administration under the leadership of Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the new leadership led by His Excellency President George Mannah Weah with the overall focus on the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).