The World Bank has approved a US$16 million grant from the Global Financing Facility (GFF) to improve the quality of primary and secondary health care services, with a focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH).
According to World Bank Liberia Country Manager Larisa Leshchenko the Health Systems Strengthening Project additional financing is critical in addressing the health of women and children. She says it will help to significantly reduce maternal mortality and preventable deaths of children under the age of five.
The fund is intended to address six priority investment areas in essential health services and health system bottlenecks: quality Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care including antenatal and postnatal care and child health; strengthen the civil registration and vital statistics system; adolescent health interventions; maternal and neonatal deaths; surveillance and response; sustainable community engagement; and leadership, governance and management at all levels.
A World Bank release said these areas were identified by the Ministry of Health, United Nations agencies, bilateral partners, NGOs, and the World Bank through the joint development of national RMNCAH investment case supported by the GFF:
“It is critical in the post-Ebola environment to build a strong RMNCAH health services platforms at the national, community and health facility levels that integrates service delivery with disease surveillance and pandemic preparedness,” said Rianna L. Mohammed-Roberts and Shunsuke Mabuchi, World Bank Task Team Leaders.
“This is an ambitious and very important project that aims to establish such new platforms together with the Ministry of Health and other partners.”
The Health Systems Strengthening Project Additional Financing uses a community-based approach. It will involve training and deployment of Community Health Assistants to provide a comprehensive package of preventive, promotive, and curative services at the household level for populations residing more than 5 km from their nearest health facility, and carry out community event based surveillance to prevent and respond quickly to disease outbreaks. It will also deploy performance based financing to counties and primary health facilities based on the quantity and quality of essential health services provided. The priority investment areas in the RMNCAH Investment Case will be supported through these service platforms, in addition to dedicated interventions.
The Ministry of Health will implement the project. The RMNCAH Investment Case will operate under a national and county platform for collaboration and collective action by the Ministry of Health, County Health Teams, communities, faith based organizations, professional associations, the private sector, development partners and the international community (including the UN agencies).
The GFF is a country driven partnership that aims to accelerate efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent deaths and improve the health and quality of life of women, adolescents and children. It is working towards preventing up to 3.8 million maternal deaths, 101 million child deaths, and 21 million
stillbirths in high burden countries by 2030. The GFF seeks to support countries with an integrated health system approach in order to improve RMNCAH outcomes.-New Dawn