-Health Minister Alarms Over Exodus Of Govt’s Partners
By Esau J. Farr
Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has alarmed over the reported mass departure and pulling out of the country of major development and donor partners of the government of Liberia shortly after the inception of the CDC George Weah led government in the country.
According to her, shortly after the coming in to being of the government of Liberia under the leadership of President George M. Weah and her subsequent appointment, controversial confirmation marred by indefinite protest by the public, civil society organizations and health workers against her appointment and take over at the Ministry of Health, the government experienced the rapid and mass departure of major donor partners; something that left her wondering if the administration of President Weah was being neglected or rejected by partners evidenced by their mass pulling out of the country.
“I don’t know what is this that everyone is leaving us; just before the coming into being of this government UNMIL left the country, shortly after we took over all our partners are leaving as though it was like make her minister and let all the partners leave us,” she told a gathering of major stakeholders of the Health Ministry at the start of a three day Stakeholders Consultation Workshop for Addressing Institutional Binding Constraints to Achieving Desired Health Outcomes in Liberia held at a local hotel in Paynesville.
The government of Liberia under former soccer legend, George M. Weah has boasted of massive bilateral, multilateral and international donor support despite the visible presence of rarely minuet donor partners, most of whom are reluctant to release more to the government in the awake of shaking economy of the country marred by lack of transparency and respect for the rule of laws by and through top decision makers of the government of President Weah.
Dr. Jallah however used the opportunity and urged all development partners, especially those in the Health Sector to join forces in supporting the government of Liberia to achieve its development agenda.
The Liberian Health Minister disclosed that despite interventions made over the years, needed changes are yet to be seen.
According to her, figures of progress and challenges in the Health sector have repeatedly fluctuated.
She however pointed out that some gains have been made such as the establishment of surveillance at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) to control other curable and preventable diseases compared to pre-Ebola crisis in Liberia.
Dr. Jallah named additional gains made by the government of Liberia in 2018 as visits across the country, the training of 28 specialists in different focus areas within the health sector, housing development for staff among others.
According to the Liberian Health Minister, the issue of lack of roads in the country stands as one of the major challenges facing the timely delivery of basic health services and needs to be addressed.
Dr. Jallah also pointed out the issue of agriculture which can’t be separated from road as they complement each other, as another priority issue that is hampering the growth and nourishment of pregnant mothers and fetuses being carried by said mothers. “Most of those mothers do not have proper diet or meal and once the fetus is not well nourished, the brain of the infant is likely to develop problems,” she stressed.
Madam Jallah then used the occasion and called on all to carry out proper awareness to save the future generation from going through said challenges.
She named prolong delay in receiving funds from donor partners coupled with bureaucracy as well as consultancy fees and separate trainings interchangeably organized by donor health partners are all serving as serious obstacles in enhancing their works at the level of the Health Ministry.
At present, Liberia’s Human Capital index stands at 0.32, one of the lowest in the world.
The three days stakeholders’ forum is expected to be climaxed today with an expectation of developing and adopting ‘A Theory of Change’ in Paynesville. TNR