Save the Children International (SCI) Liberia Country Office embarks on a two-year health workers’ project aimed at advocating for increment in budgetary allocation to the health system of Liberia.
According to a release issued, the project intends to save the lives of children in vulnerable communities through a strengthened health sector and the political commitment to increase health financing and investment.
To ensure that it achieves its desired goal, SCI has begun strengthening the capacity of two civil society organizations to advocate for the increase in health system financing and ensure that Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with emphasis on Maternal, New-born and Child Health (MNCH) is realized.
Partnership for Sustainable Development (PaSD) and Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance of Liberia (SUNCSAL) are implementing the project. The civil society groups have already held community dialogue meetings with paramount chiefs and local government officials in Montserrado and Margibi counties, respectively, as part of activities of the project.
The release quotes Save the Children Country Manager as saying that the project will generate evidence based on health system financing and public expenditure to support and facilitate discussions with key budget decision-makers, legislators and relevant stakeholders.
Mr. Joseph Jay Yarsiah believes that at the end of the project, there will be change in the approach to health financing and investment, which will eventually see significant reduction in out-of-pocket payments for health services and enable individuals to have access to quality healthcare regardless of their status.
The Health Workers’ Project was initiated by SCI because of the weakness of Liberia’s health system, which was exposed during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
According to the Ministry of Health’s 2014 Report following the Ebola crisis, Liberia has one of the highest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in the world, with 1,072 deaths per 100,000 live births. The Ministry listed factors that have contributed to the high MMR, which include limited access to basic emergency obstetric services, low utilization of family planning services, low coverage of antenatal and postnatal services, insufficient number of skilled birth attendants, delays in referrals, and weak referral systems.
Furthermore, the Health Ministry’s 2014 report points to high maternal death despite the fact that there continues to be under-reporting of maternal death at health facilities due to a lack of verbal autopsies and for fear of being investigated, criticized and punished. The report also says a majority of maternal deaths in Liberia are due to post-delivery injury, obstructed or prolonged labor, and complications resulting from unsafe abortions, among others.
The project is being implemented in keeping with Save the Children’s vision in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children with a mission to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. Press Release