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Deputy Health boss stresses primary healthcare

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Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Francis Kateh says, the Ministry cannot build a strong and vibrant health care service here without focus on primary health care.

He says Liberia health service cannot be resilient when the primary health care system, which is the first place of encounter, is not strong, adding, “So we have to begin to build the capacity at that level.”

Doctor Kateh made the emphasis in Monrovia recently at program marking National Health Fair 2019 organized by the Ministry of Health through its Health Promotion Division on collaboration with partners.The program was held under the theme, “Accelerating Maternal and New Born Health; Stop Baby and Mama from Dying.”

“We have started so many things and few years ago, we trained our own physician assistants, midwives and nurses to become nurse practitioners”, he says.
“We need to continue to build their capacities at that level, but to
do that we need every necessary medical supply that is needed to
build that level, because when the people come there and do not see
what is expected, it signals negative feedback to them, “he cautions.

The Chief Medical Officer notes that it is true that Liberia needs medical doctors, but primary health care services are essential and rely on physician assistants, nurses and midwives.

“We need to invest in them, and that should take precedent over everything we need to do, if we do that, we can change the country’s health care services.”
Also speaking, the Dean of the Mother Pattern College of Health Science, Sister Barbara Brilliant, proposes introduction of Life Skill education to be taught in all Liberian schools.

Serving as keynote speaker, Sister Brilliant says the teaching of Life Skill education in schools will help in developing young people to take greater responsibility for their own lives and to practice healthy behaviors.

She notes that Life Skill education is important because it gives people the skills and tools they need to navigate the world.

She says without education, people would not be able to read, write, calculate or communicate; they would also not be able to perform jobs competently, accurately and safely.

“The commitment to skills-based health education as an important
foundation for every child is shared across the supporting agencies”,
she points out.

Also speaking, Liberia’s Cultural Ambassador Julie Endee appeals to the Liberian government to increase the budget of the Ministry of Health to enable the institution provides more health services for the public.

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