The House of Representatives on Thursday December 8, concurred with the Senate over the passage of the Act to establish the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the Act that officially creates the new Ministry of Health.
The core mission of the Institute will be, to prevent and control public health threats. Its vision is to create a center of excellence for better health outcomes. The immediate mandate of the NPHIL will be to: enhance and expand surveillance, develop and build the public health workforce and improve epidemic preparedness, laboratory capacity and research.
According to authorities at the Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL) aims to provide a platform for a paradigm shift in the public health system to make it the most cost- effective and will on the overall achieve he following specific objectives: contribute to the development and sustainability of the public health workforce; develop, enhance, and expand the surveillance and response platforms; develop and strengthen the laboratory system and public health diagnostics; develop, enhance, and expand processes and structures to protect environmental and occupational health; and expand, conduct, and coordinate public health and medical research to inform Liberian public health policies.
“The NPHIL will address the huge public health deficits demonstrated by the Ebola epidemic”, the ministry said. Other critical public health needs will be quickly addressed through targeted interventions to alleviate disease burden due to measles, maternal and neonatal mortality.
Meanwhile, this latest development is a very important and critical milestone for the health sector. The Acts now goes to the President of Liberia for approval; as presidential approval means the Acts go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be published into handbills before it becomes effective.
In a related development, this landmark achievement is credited to Ministry of Health particularly recognizing the relentless and assertive engagement by Deputy Minister of Health, Tolbert G. Nyenswah, of the Deputy Minister of Health of the Department of Public Health Emergency – who throughout the legislative process left no stone unturned in the realization of this major development.