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Liberia health sector to receive big boost

-MOH and partners to host first International CHW symposium

By Lincoln G. Peters

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health in partnership with Golden Touch Corporation (GTC) is for the first time expected to host the 3rd International Community Health Workers (CHW) symposium in the country to be followed by the official launch of a new ten-year National Community Health Policy (2023-2032).

Liberia bided in 2019 to host the 3rd International Community Health Workers Symposium and was awarded the bid by Health System Global (HSG), Community Health Workers TWG, on June 29, 2020.

The previous two CHW Symposia were held in Uganda in 2017, and Bangladesh in 2019, and the Institutionalizing Community Health Conferences (ICHC 2017, and 2021). 

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The vision of this new policy is to expand access and delivery of high-quality services to all communitiesthrough a government management community health workforce that would contribute to reduction of morbidity and mortality through provision of a high-quality, cost-effective standardized essential package of community health services and to mitigate potential public health risks in communities.

The 3rd CHW Symposium is poised to kickoff March 20 – 24, 2023 at the renamed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Inter-Ministerial Complex, in Congo Town.

In 2016, Liberia lunched the National Community Health Program with the aim of transforming the country’s healthcare delivery system and increasing access to quality and affordable care at the doorsteps of rural communities.

Liberia’s National Community Health Program has gradually advanced and made significant progress since the 2014 – 2015 Ebola Epidemic, which saw a complete breakdown in the healthcare delivery system, prompting the government to place the rebuilding of the health system at the top of its development agenda as is evidenced in the progress that has been made.

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The symposium is held every two years and is intended to provide an opportunity for advocacy for the host country and other nations for investment in Community Health Program and the health system in general.

The theme of the third CHW Symposium is “Advancing Community Health Worker Programs to Build Resilient and Equitable Health Systems that Accelerate Primary Health Care for Universal Health Coverage”.

 The conference is expected to bring together 40 countries from every region of the world with 600 delegates, including high-level government officials UN Agencies, the Africa Center for Disease Control, development partners, Community Health Champions, Community Health Workers, Researchers, and foreign missions accredited to Liberia.

Participation in the symposium will be through a hybrid method and by invitation, while a considerable number of others will be by abstract applications.

At the same time, there will be a two-day pre-conference activities centered on country engagement; creating the space for experience sharing and collaborations amongst Community Health Roadmap Countries, the Global Fund NFM4 application engagement, and any partner who may want to have pre-conference meetings or workshops.

 The approach to the main event will be guided by a global agenda that focuses on global best practices exchange, community health financing, CHW program institutionalization, and emerging evidence and innovations.

There will be an opening ceremony and plenary session followed by a series of corresponding sessions of presentations, panel discussions, and plenaries as well as marketplaces for posters presentations, institutions engagement, sponsorship, and sales by accredited local vendors.

Moreover, the event will climax with a closing ceremony followed by an awards night for honoring key stakeholders and Community Health Workers from Liberia and other countries. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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