Over 50 nurses and midwives from the 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia as well as administrators from health-related higher institutions of learning have agreed to enhance their respective medicinal services (practices) in protecting public health and safety.
The health practitioners committed themselves to the new-fangled mission of the Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery (LBNM), which mission is to protect the public’s health and safety by providing reasonable assurance that those in the nursing and midwifery fields are competent, ethical practitioners with the necessary knowledge and skills.
The pledge was made on Monday, May 13, 2013 at the beginning of a four-day Strategic Validation Workshop of the LBNM which is in progress at the ballroom of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The draft and strategic validation of the Five-Year LBNM’s Strategic Plan (2012-2017) is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). The ongoing validation process is the second phase of the five-year strategic plan of nurses and midwifery, which aim is to dramatically improve the health sector of the country.
The five-year strategic plan ( 2012-2017) which is referred to as ‘Road Map’ calls for capacity building of health practitioners and improvement of the supervisory and monitorial role of the LBNM over nurses and midwifery as well as an amicable relationship with health-related higher institutions of learning.
The plan also includes the hospitable and welcoming environment of nurses and midwifery toward their patients which is against the background where nurses have poor customer services, amongst others.
The Chairman and Registrar of the LBNM, Madam Cecelia Morris and Cecelia K. Flomo, in separate remarks stressed that the workshop, which is second of its kind, is squarely intended to raise the bar of nurses and midwifery and put them on par with other countries.
A Malawian health consultant, Maureen Chirwa, outlined some recommendations which should be included in the five-year Strategic Plan, some of which she gave the role of the Board and the Registrar of LBNM.
Madam Chirwa told LBNM to authenticate university or college degrees of foreign nurses and midwifery, who wish to practice in the country and urged LBNM to strive in having an electronic registry for all nurses and midwifery which will help them in their appraisal scheme. Associate Professor Chirwar also told the LBNM that they must cultivate a unique curriculum and ensure that all schools adhere to it.
The Health Economist for WHO-Liberia, Eric D. Johnson, said the WHO has promised to solicit financial support for the implementation of the five-year LBNM Strategic Plan, which he called ‘The National Human Resource for Health Road Map.’ He urged the LBNM to establish a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to measure progress achieved from the strategic plan.
The Focal Person for Human Resources for Health at the WHO, Margaret Loma Phiri, indicated that the World Health Organization looks forward to the day when Liberia’s health sector will be compared to Ghana and Nigeria.
Madam Phiri, who is also West Africa Advisor for nursing and midwifery, urged the Liberian Government to support health like in other African countries to have improvement in the sector.
Also speaking, Deputy Health Minister for Preventive and Curable Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, pledged government’s continuous support to the health sector .He noted that the government will never neglect its citizens, which are her prime responsibility.