World Bank Country Manager Mrs. Larisa Leshchenko is alarmed by maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rates in Liberia, saying too many mothers are dying and too many young girls are not experiencing childhood the way they should.
She told a multi-stakeholders’ workshop Wednesday, 13 February in Paynesville that maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rates here are among the highest in West Africa and the World.
Her comments at the Golden Gate Hotel came at the workshop held by the Ministry of Health in partnership with the World Bank which aimed at addressing institutional constraints to achieve the desired health outcomes in Liberia.
Mrs. Leshchenko notes that the health outcomes in Liberia suggest that much remains to be done, remarking further that the Human Capital Index released in September 2018 ranked Liberia at 153 of 157 countries.
At the center of these appalling outcomes, the World Bank envoy indicates that there are a range of areas that Liberia recognizes as critical challenges which include human resources management, drug supply and drug management system, bringing citizens’ voices into health governance, and improving transparency and accountability at different level of the system.
“While many technical solutions will continue to be implemented, our experience suggest that these will need to be supported by governance institution and organization reforms,” she says.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Leshchenko has assured that the World Bank will continue its partnership with the Liberian government to strengthen the capacity of the country’s health care delivery system and for the sustainable management of available resources.
For her part, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has expressed delight over the conduct of the workshop, terming it a milestone for the country’s health sector.
She says the workshop is significant because it will provide opportunity for participants to explore means that will improve and address the many health related problems here.
According to Dr. Jallah, Liberia has been up and down for quite a while, saying things have been happening but citizens find it difficult to see the kinds of changes that are taking place in the health sector.
Outlining some of the gains being made in the health sector, Minister Jallah says surveillance from the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL) shows that Liberia has made significant improvement.
According to her, surveillance from NPHIL can clearly show that Liberia can no longer experience another public health threat like the deadly Ebola virus.
By Lewis S. Teh –Edited by Winston W. Parley