Liberia Makes Progress in Covid Fight

By Mark N. Mengonfia mmenginfia@gmail.com

MONROVIA-Liberia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmiana Jallah said the country has made tremendous efforts in ending Corona Virus Disease.

Speaking Friday in Congo Town at a consultative dialogue with some journalists in Liberia, Dr. Jallah said as of now, the Ministry of Health has a record of two active cases of the Corona Virus.

She said the two active cases of the Covid 19 virus are in Nimba and Montserrado Counties.

Dr. Jallah said last Thursday; the Ministry launched another campaign aimed at ensuring the citizens of the country get vaccinated as means of preventing the virus.

The health boss said the campaign launched in six counties Thursday of last week was able to reach out to some ten thousand individuals only in Montserrado County who were vaccinated.

It is expected that this week, the Ministry of Health is going to have the rest of the nine counties included as the means of reaching their target of vaccinating about 70% of the population.

During the engagement, the Health Minister rallied the continual support of the Liberian media in preaching messages that will help speak to the consciences of Liberians to willingly reach out to be vaccinated.

She said, “23% of our population has received the vaccine and we need to reach the target of 70% by June 2022.”

The Liberian Health Ministry said using the media in all its forms will bring them (MOH) more success them what it has now as a Ministry.

Although Covid is the most talk about illness now in the world, the Liberian Health Minister did not forget to speak to the issues of HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Giving a statistic of the above, the Health Minister said   19,835 audits are on treatment among all audits tested of AIDS while 7,445 cases of all forms of TB have been recorded, but was quick to say that the Ministry has of 99% treatment success rate of TB.

She pointed out that the fight against malaria is hard because the use of mosquito nets is a serious challenge that the ministry is faced with.

She called on the Liberian to help the Ministry of Health promulgate messages that will make Liberians take seriously the use of nets to prevent malaria.

One of the news that broke during the dialogue was when health Minister Jallah said over 100 thousand is expected to be pumped into the Liberia health sector to help fight TB, AIDS, and Malaria.

She praised the efforts of Global Fund; an institution she said has been instrumental in funding Liberians to balance her health problems over the years.

One thing that was said during the gathering is that Global Fund is the most single funder of TB program in Liberia and that the Ministry was grateful for their services to the County and its people.

The consultative dialogue engagement was organized by the Liberia Coordinating Mechanism (LCM) with funding from the USAID & Global Fund Partnership.

Mrs. Pauline Doe Hilton, speaking on the role of principal recipients’ works and media engagement, outlined the gain they have made with the funding received from the Global Fund.

She said they have used the money to reach out the county health teams of the country, impacting those living with AIDS, TB, and Malaria in Liberia.

She said they are tirelessly working on a deadline to end TB by 2025 and reduce HIV by 190 per year.

Emmanuel R. Konoe, Deputy Chief of Party, Global Fund Malaria project at Plan International said they have built over 75 schools in Lofa County and are working in Bomi, Montserrado and Nimba Counties to address issues surrounding malaria.

After their presentation, the two principal recipients from how participants (journalists) quizzed, it appears like they have not done much with reaching out to the media when they are involved with their campaigns in the counties they are implementing the Global Fund money.

From the dialogue, it is expected that they will include members of the media in their planning process for more visibility of their activities.

Giving a background about the gathering over the weekend, Mr. Solomon W. Watkins, LCM Technical Officer Covid and Media Advisor said they were happy that members of the media left other activities to attend the consultative dialogue engagement which took place a week ahead of the celebration of this year’s World TB Day.

Watkins said, established in 2006, the LCM is a national body responsible for the development and submission of funding applications to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) on behalf of Liberia.

He said the LCM also nominates Principal Recipient(s) to execute grants awarded by the Global Fund, oversees grant implementation and ensures linkages and consistency between Global Fund grants and other national health and development programs in Liberia.

Liberia benefits from a three (3) years Global Fund grant of over US$101.745 for HIV, TB, and Malaria, including building resilient and sustainable systems for health and reducing the impact of COVID 19 on Liberia (US$77.7 million grant support to HIV, TB, and Malaria, including building resilient and sustainable systems for health, and US$24.045 million to fight COVID 19).

The Liberia Ministry of Health and Plan International are two Principal Recipients (PRs) for the Global Fund grants.

The LCM as the medium through which the Global Fund is supporting Liberia’s health sector believes the partnership with media will help reduce myths and misconceptions about the three diseases – TB/HIV and Malaria – as well as increasing demand for public confidence and access to health services utilization as part of its communication strategy.

 

 

 

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