WaterAid Hosts Meeting for WASH Partners’ Review

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye from Bo, Sierra Leone

 

A three-day meeting on WASH advocacy, service delivery and governance activities in Sierra Leone and Liberia, began on Monday, September 18, 2017, in Bo City, Sierra Leone. WASH is water, sanitation and hygiene.

Hosted by WaterAid Liberia & Sierra Leone, the mid-year review gathering is intended for representatives from partnering organizations to review and reflect on their past and ongoing performances and plans.

The meeting focuses on activities carried from April to September, highlighting achievements, challenges, lessons learned and what can be done to overcome the challenges including budget constraints when implementing planned activities.

Partnering Liberian organizations represented at the gathering include: WASH Reporters & Editors Network (WASH R&E Network), Community Development Services (CODES), United Youth fro Peace, Education, Transparency and Development in Liberia (UYPETDL) and SHALOM. Those of host Sierra Leone are: WASH Media, WASHNet, Kenema Technical Team, Pujehun Technical Team, Movement towards Peace and Development Agency (MOPADA) and HELP, among others.

Activities of the interactive gathering include presentations by participants on their respective organizations, experience-sharing on administrative and technical implementations on advocacy, service delivery and governance as well as partnership review.

Partner organizations are showcasing their practical success stories, indicating impacts their activities are making in communities. Key among impacts including the willingness of citizens to take ownership of improved WASH services.

All is geared towards learning and finding missing links in past activities to wright the wrongs in meeting the expected outcomes.

Also, partners are being asked to be vigilant in implementing projects, to woo more funding in the face of donor fatigue.

At the end of the gathering, participants will formulate, integrate and review a plan to serve as a guiding tool for their organizations’ planned and further activities.

Though there are some level of positive changes, the head of Liberia WASH R&E Network, Augustine Myers, in his presentation, admitted some challenges in his country. The WASH media network boss named deplorable road condition and ongoing political activities as some of the challenges his organization faces.

In terms of achievements, he noted that WASH Media Report compels government to investigate outcome from WaterAid’s Environmental, Social and Health Impact Report in Cape Mount and Gbarpolu counties.

In his opening remark, the country director for WaterAid Liberia & Liberia, Mr. Patrick Cheah, thanked partners for the level of works under WaterAid partnership. He also told participants to be interactive as a way of experience sharing and to see how to coordinate and integrate programs intended to promote WASH activities in the two countries.

According to Cheah, WaterAid is committed to ensuring that citizens of the countries gain access to improved WASH facilities and service delivery as well as governance.

 

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Over 30 Health Workers Attend Advanced IPC Training

 

 

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization is conducting a close to two weeks’ advanced Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)  training for more than 30 health practitioners in Liberia.

The pilot project, as it is called, began on Monday, July 31, 2017 and will end on August 11, 2017 at the Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia.

At the opening ceremony on Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Country Director for Liberia, Dr. Desmond Williams, lauded those who have turned out from across the country to participate in the training.

Dr. Williams noted that there is a particular reason while he is always excited about Infection Prevention and Control, making specific reference to September 2014 when he arrived in Liberia at the time the Ebola scourge was at its peak.

According to him, any healthcare system is as strong as the people who are in it, and people who sacrifice and put their lives on the line everyday to save their fellow countrymen.

Dr. Williams said this was demonstrated during the Ebola crisis when hundreds of health workers died in the West African Region where the epidemic was discovered, as a result of which hospitals, clinics and other health facilities were closed down for many months and people could not seek medical attention at that terrible time in the Ebola-affected countries-Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

He indicated that the IPC management is not a one day event or an overnight solution, but a process that calls for continuous practice that needs to be demonstrated in the hospitals, clinics and health centers about how to provide care for patients while practitioners themselves are very mindful of self-protection.

He thanked WHO and other partners involved in formulating the curriculum being used for the advanced IPC training in Liberia for focal persons, who are expected to make maximum use of what they would be taught to be transferred to other health workers who could not be opportune to attend the training.

Dr. Williams assured CDC’s willingness and commitment to always work along with WHO, the Ministry of Health and other partners in providing better healthcare delivery, hoping that one thing to learn from should be the legacy which Ebola made health practitioners to note during the devastating health crisis in the country.

He urged the participants to learn and properly utilize what they are taught and that a curriculum from such training can form part of the university’s curriculum for medical students.

At the same time, WHO Representative in Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira, commended the Ministry of Health for organizing the training program, and for demonstrating a strong leadership role in tackling challenges associated with Liberia’s resilient health system.

Dr. Gasasira observed that since the outbreak of Ebola and its containment, the Ministry of Health has strived to ensure a healthy environment in the country, by collaborating with partners in undertaking initiatives for better healthcare delivery, something he termed as laudable.

He encouraged health workers in Liberia to remain committed in combating diseases to save human lives, assuring that WHO will always support health-driven activities.

Dr. Gasasira, impressed with the development so far, admonished the participants to use the curriculum for the advanced IPC training as their daily guide in their places of work in fulfillment of combating infectious diseases in the country.

He said as far as his knowledge can serve him, the advanced IPC training is the first in the region hence it has to be taken seriously.

Meantime, Liberia’s Medical Doctor, Dr. Francis N. Kateh, who formally open the training workshop, said the Assistant Minister for Curative at MOH, Dr. Catherine Cooper, is symbolic of Infection Prevention and Control in Liberia who deserves  flowers while still alive.

He indicated that talking about improved health system in the country, some of the causes can be alluded to Dr. Cooper’s intervention.

Dr. Kateh also thanked Dr. Gasasira and Dr. Williams for their tireless efforts in collaborating with other partners and the Ministry of Health for possible interventions geared towards transforming the health system of Liberia.

He further hailed facilitators of the training who came from Geneva and elsewhere for showing interest in helping the country to address some of its critical health needs, especially following the Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Kateh told the participants that the major bridge that connects one with an assigned duty is ‘passion,’ stressing that the practitioners should always have passion for the work they do.

Meanwhile,  a background information regarding the advanced training indicates that Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training and education forms one of the eight recommendations of the new WHO Guidelines on Core Components of IPC Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level, and one component of the WHO recommended multimodal improvement strategy.

Accordingly, a recent IPC workshop of Ministry of Health (MOH) representatives and relevant stakeholders from across Africa organized by WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Infection Control Africa Network, focused on IPC implementation challenges and opportunities.

A strong consensus emerging from the meeting was the need for strengthened training strategies, including the development of standardized training packages for IPC professionals in low-resource settings to support successful implementation and IPC country capacity building.

To address this need, the WHO IPC Global Unit is developing advanced IPC training module content that can be adapted and used by countries, in particular in settings with limited resources. The target audience for these modules will be IPC focal persons or health care professionals with at least basic IPC experience and competencies.

The objective of this project is to develop and publish (WHO web pages) a package of advanced IPC training modules in the form of- Materials to allow for training delivery by IPC professionals including PowerPoint slide sets, a trainer’s guide for each training module (including content reviewed by external experts and evaluated in a real-world training scenario) and a suite of case study materials and knowledge evaluation resources; Audiovisual and e-learning supporting materials of selected content.

The content for these advanced IPC training modules is currently being developed by WHO and a consortium of international institutions with extensive educational and implementation experience and expertise in developing countries. The materials will go through detailed expert revision and be adapted into e-learning package and other supporting tools. As part of the expert revision process, it is critical to pilot and evaluate the use of the training module content in a low-resource setting, incorporate the feedback received and review accordingly.

The data gathered from this evaluation will be used to strengthen and improve the course content, materials, timing, flow and suggested delivery strategies presented in the training modules. The training package is expected to be launched in late 2017.

Accordingly, at the above-mentioned international workshop on national IPC training programmes and curricula, Liberia presented their goals to further develop the IPC training programme as part of their strategic national vision.

Following the outbreak of Ebola virus disease, Liberia has taken concerted steps to improve IPC practices nationally and under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, Liberia has developed a strategic national vision for IPC and implemented basic IPC training and monitoring across all 15 counties.

At the workshop, it is disclosed that the Liberian delegation discussed the next steps for this training programme and worked through a potential action plan for setting up IPC and quality training programmes across its education system from pre-service to in-service and post-graduate. The current proposal is meant to provide some technical support to these plans; writes Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

Atina Women Initiative Celebrates World Menstrual Hygiene Day

By Mafanta Kromah

 

A local NGO called Atina Women Initiative on May 28  celebrated the World Menstrual Hygiene Day with several schools in Monrovia.

Atina Women Initiative, which is a local group founded to empower less fortunate women through macro finance loan and conducting livelihood training celebrated the world Menstrual Hygiene Day with education on the understanding of menstrual circle.

The day which is celebrated May 28 every year is set aside to give awareness to women and girls on menstruation management.

The group celebrated the day by visiting several schools in Monrovia and its environment. The founder and Executive Director of the group Mrs. Muna Weah-Weah said, there was no other way to celebrate this day than visiting schools, sharing tips on menstrual management, and the distribution of sanitary pads to young school going girls.

In a special statement to some teenage school girls at the Peace Island Elementary, Junior & Senior High School, Mrs. Weah-Weah told them that their menstrual period should not be the reason for them not being in school.

She also told the students to stay in school and focus on the lesson because Liberia is depending on them for its development and progress.

Mrs. Weah-Weah also said it was so sad hearing from some students that they use cloth, leaves, among other things to manage the waste during the time of menstruation. After the distribution of the pads to the students, she told them to use it for the intended purpose and do not give it to any of their elderly female family members.

“You should not allow any boy to fool you to have sex with you at this age because it will damage your future and you should be like me who had my first child in my married home and was working also,” she cautioned the students.

In appreciation, the students lauded the group for its works over the years and for giving them the knowledge and understanding of the ways to manage their menstrual cycles and distributing menstrual pads among them.

Mental Illness Reaches Unimaginable Concerns; Liberia Deserves Modern Mental Health Strategy

 By Mafanta Kromah

There is an increase in the number of mentally ill persons in the country and has become a common illness that victimizes people of all ages, regardless of ethnicity, fraternity, religious affiliation and or status in life.

From childhood to adult age this problem cannot be ignored and allowed to permeate society without national government immediate intervention. This nation can no longer look the other way hoping that this pandemic will go away, especially given our recent problem with the deadly EBOLA crisis.

Given the current World Bank statistics, about 10% of the world’s population lives with mental illness, many of which is caused by depression. According to the Carter Center, 40% of the 4.5 million Liberians has symptoms of major depression and about 44% appeared to have post-traumatic stress disorders. It is also estimated that is close to 50-70% of women and girls were sexually assaulted during the civil war and about 11% have contemplated suicide. Due to the dearth of mental health services in the country, only a handful of persons with mental illness received treatment, says the report.

Looking at the history of Liberia over the years, cumulating into our recent violent civil war, it’s the professional opinions of medical practitioners that some of this madness is caused by the traumatic effect from the devastating 14 years of civil war that affected people throughout this nation. In some cases, the impact of visible and invisible factors can increase the stress levels of people leading to mental madness. This is even widespread due to the lack of professional interventions to provide services to those suspected of mental illness.

The alarming unemployment rate in Liberia, estimated between 60-70% is another contributing factor to mental illness in the nation. According to LIGIS report, about 70% of the Liberian population is unemployed and as a result, people find themselves engaged in unlawful and illegal activities such as drug use. In most cases, these unlawful and illegal activities result to mental problems, which, in some instances, lead some to commit suicide or heinous crimes against other people in the Country.

This situation is so alarming that it’s not limited to urban areas. Many in rural Liberia are said to be faced with mental health conditions that continue to tear families apart. Though there has been no established data, reports from rural Liberia indicates that some men are angrily killing family members, wives and innocent people over very small issues, that can easily be negotiated and settled by immediate interventions of elders and or leaders of these communities.

It’s also an established fact that unemployment which results in poverty is a risk factor for mental illness. Poverty reduces the ability of an individual to access productive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services, thereby increasing their risks of morbidity, disability, and mortality. The stress of substance abuse associated with widespread poverty can also create problems for society and increase the risks of developing mental disorders.

Typical examples of this alarming situation have been documented in the form of reports from various media institutions in the Nation. It’s no secret that unemployment as a contributing factor has taken another trend in the Nation, where young, promising girls are prostituting themselves for survival. A recent report of a prominent young beauty queen going mad after sleeping with a strange Nigerian man is another example of how widespread is this situation.

Another factor associated with mental illness is birth trauma, especially amongst young girls who are not mentally and legally prepared and matured for childbirth. Medical practitioners have often opined that the damage to tissues and trauma associated with childbirths, along with long-term cognitive consequences which encompass both mother and the newly delivered child are major contributing factors to mental illness. These conditions, in addition to poverty usually affect young mothers, who are unable to cope with its impacts and most often end up using illegal substances as escape routes.

The effects of the use of some recreational drugs by young people in the country have also contributed to the increase in mental madness, especially amongst young people. As the usage of illicit drugs increases in the Country, the numbers of mentally ill persons are also on the rise, coupled with prostitution, human trafficking and a looming threat to the Liberian society as a whole. The effects of the use of some recreational drugs by young people in the country have also contributed to the increase in mental madness, especially amongst young people.

According to mental health science, the use of some form of recreational drugs and its impact on the brain, which makes one feel relaxed and high, also makes it difficult for users to remember things. The long-term effects and impacts causes long-term mental health problems, including schizophrenia, a very serious mental illness in a person that make a person thinks or behave abnormally and experience delusion, psychosis, and depression; a medical condition that make a person feel very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and unable to live in a normal society.

However, mental illness has become so alarming that Liberians are concern about the situation and want government immediate intervention, to create functioning mental health services, to cater to this growing pandemic. It’s estimated that 4 out of 10 young Liberians suffer some form of undiagnosed mental illness and this situation is on the rise across streets, cities, and towns in this Nation. In most cities, they are termed as “Zogos” in Liberia.

Given the statistics on the mental health situation in Liberia today, the Nation continues to suffer moderate to progressive mental disorders, mostly due to the trauma of war and the lack of decent mental health services in the Country. Many of the healthcare workers in the Nation lacked a basic understanding of mental illness, due to the lack of specific mental health curriculum and education in most, if not all institutions in the Nation.

The effects and impacts of this pandemic can be temporary or long-lasting depending on the national government’s response to this growing problem, especially if there is no urgent care and attention is given to mentally ill people; especially those on the streets of our cities, harassing and putting people lives at risk. It is believed that the only way to resolve the mental health situation in our country is to build modern mental recovery center that will promote education, socialization, and training, which will help mentally ill people to build better lives for themselves, gain empowerment, maintain independence, and be rehabilitated to earn acceptance within the Liberian society.

One notable government entity that could provide immediate relief is the Social Security Administration. While it’s a good business decision to construct high-end real estate properties in the Nation and rent to government institutions and private entities for future profits; the Government of Liberia should encourage the Social Security Administration to invest in the health and well-being of the people of this Nation, especially, mental health. This will help to reduce the number of mentally ill people on street corners in our cities and those impacted by mental illness caused by poverty in rural Liberia.

Though there is a tendency in Africa at large and Liberia is no exception, to ignore and brand mentally ill people as alcoholics and drug-users; neglected and left to survival on streets with their children. These mentally ill people and their family always face stigma in their various communities and there is a need for the Liberian Government to act and acknowledge the situation with policies to tackle and impact this growing threat.

The government through the Ministry of Education needs to bring the teachings and regulations as part of the primary, secondary and tertiary education curriculum as a long-term strategy to combat this pandemic.

This will help the young ones understand themselves, and reduce shame on society. This will help the next generation and save them from our generation experiences.

It’s hoped that this article and many others written in the past will help create awareness to the lack of appropriate services for mental illness and draw the attention of health authorities to the mental health crisis in the Country. If measures are not taken to aggressively tackle this growing pandemic and reduce or bring this situation to a manageable control, to keep our streets free and safe of people with mental madness, Liberia will face another serious problem which might drive future investors away.

 

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Africa Poises For Top WHO Post-As Dr. Tedros Tipped As Favourite

 The former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, has been tipped as the next Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the numerous endorsements from Africa and other Asian and Western nations.

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SCNL Condemns Ranger’s Death At SAPO National Park

The Society for the Conversation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) has condemned the gruesome killing of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Ranger, who was assigned at the SAPO National Park and expressed regrets for the incident.

Read more

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Charcoal Union Dedicates Modern Latrine in Cape Mount

The latrine                                                     NACUL officials, partners and residents at the program

The National Charcoal Union of Liberia (NACUL), on Thursday, May 4, 2017, dedicated a modern latrine in Weajue, Gola-Konneh District, Grand Cape Mount County.

NACUL undertook the Weajue’s latrine project through the Gola-Konneh District Charcoal Producers Association. NACUL financed the project while members of the Gola-Konneh District Charcoal Producers Association assisted with the labor force.

Started on November 25, 2016, the four-room compartment project is a part of NACUL’s community service program, and it was implemented following series of consultations with residents in Weajue. The residents provided the project site.

Speaking at the dedicatory program, NACUL President, Mr. Richard T. A. Dorbor, said the project is part of the Union’s community service program.

According to Dorbor, NACUL decided to undertake the project through the Gola-Konneh Charcoal Producers Association, a local network, in response to Weajue residents’ appeal for latrine.

Dorbor said the Union solely financed the project, which he estimated at a little over US$3,000.00 (three thousand United States dollars). He then urged residents to ensure the proper maintenance of the latrine.

Also in separate remarks, Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Technical Manager, Mr. Joseph Tally, Region #I Forester, Mrs. Ruth Varney and Commercial Department Coordinator, Mr. William Pewu, praised NACUL for undertaking such an initiative on its own.

Delivering an official statement on behalf of FDA Managing Director, Mr. Tally reaffirmed his institution’s commitment to supporting NACUL in its drive to sustainable charcoal production, market and other projects in the sector.

Interestingly, Green Gold Liberia, an NGO, was encouraged by the NACUL-sponsored latrine project and promised to train charcoal producers on sustainable and alternative production.

Making remarks at the occasion, Green Gold Liberia Lead Technical Consultant, Mr. Gerrad Singh, commended NACUL and its network organizations for the project.

Singh also presented to Gola-Konneh Charcoal Producers Association a simple machine that compacts coal dust, saw dust, ashes and other wastes to usable coal. He named wreaths, grass and other agricultural wastes as sources of charcoal if production must be sustainable, which he said his organization has embarked on training people.

Meanwhile, residents of Gola-Konneh District, through their Paramount Chief Momo Thomas, have lauded the efforts of NACUL for the project, which they said is not only beneficial to Weajue Town alone, but the entire District and passersby.

Chief Thomas said the project was the first of its kind for residents in Weajue Town to benefit from such a public latrine despite the presence of many NGOs in the county.

According to Chief Thomas, the project site is referred to as “Pupu Field”, meaning it was being used as an area of open defecation due to the lack of public latrine in the town.

After receiving keys to the latrine, Chief Thomas promised to ensure its proper maintenance, saying, “We are going to meet to see how we can manage this toilet good, good.”

Speaking on behalf Charcoal Producers and Sellers Networks, Mrs. Siah Thomas, Chairperson of the Central Monrovia Charcoal Sellers Association, thanked NACUL for the project, which she said has reinvigorated other network organizations.

Mrs. Thomas said the project also demonstrates charcoalers’ commitment in working with and helping the communities. She said it also indicates that those in the Charcoal sector have a major role in society, calling on people not to overemphasize them.

Representatives from the Christian and Muslim communities, traditional, youth and women groups described the latrine as a relief for them because the area was also called “hold your nose and pass”.

The dedication coincided with NACUL’s first annual assembly, where delegates (representatives from established network organizations in various counties) adopted the group’s draft constitution, deliberated on the future of NACUL, strengthening of network groups and support to the union, among others. They also agreed to contribute towards projects that will be undertaken by any network organizations.

NACUL leadership given power to continue until 2022

Meanwhile, delegates from various network associations, at the end of the assembly, adopted a resolution giving the current leadership of NACUL to continue to steer the affairs of the Union until December 2022. The delegates were mainly chairpersons of charcoal producers and sellers networks.

The delegates, according to the resolution, also mandated the current management team to carry out programs and activities aimed at strengthening NACUL and various networks. They further instructed the management to establish more networks and increase NACUL’s programs across Liberia, among others.

Established in 2004, the Union started as an advocacy group for charcoal producers when they (charcoal producers) were coming under pressure and harassment on numerous occasions.

In 2015, with support from Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), NACUL decided to organize charcoal producers and sellers in various counties as network groups under NACUL for the purpose of bringing them under one umbrella to promote activities and solve problems arising in the sector.

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Nimba CHO Wants National Consultation On Major Health Issues

By Mafanta Kromah

 

Nimba County Health Officer (CHO), Mr. Collins S. Bowah, has spoke of the need to conduct a national conference or consultation to discuss major health issues especially maternal health and other areas of concerns.

Speaking over the weekend at his office in Sanniquellie Nimba County, Bowah noted that introducing such initiative will help get rid of maternal death and give people understanding on areas that need to be improved.

He, however, indicated maternal death in Nimba especially at the G. W. Harlay has decreased due to the system, care and concern given patients at the hospital by the County Health care.

“We have a mechanism called the Maternal Death Audit (MDA), there we validate our work to know where we did well and where we need to improve on,” he indicated.

He maintained that in order to put an end to maternal death, they have put stop to delivery at home by traditional midwives; but they have trained them to take care of these pregnant women at the maternal waiting home before delivery.

He asserted that the service at the only public hospital is free of charge and people from all parts of the county get medication from the hospital with lot of affection, maintenance and alarmed.

He noted that the hospital conducts 135 surgeries every month with no cost, unless when it involves blood, something, he said government does not give blood away to people.

“We have an ambulance system to cover distances to get critical cases; we also have an inter-hospital relationship. When we are unable to reach a place in time due to the distant or bad road condition, we contact the nearby medical center for referral in order to save the life of that person,” Bowah narrated.

The County Health Officer also noted that there are several challenges faced by the institution, especially in the case where many patients come at the hospital at the very critical stage of the sickness, noting on the part of maternal, patients delay in making decision to come to hospital, delay to reach the facility and lack of logistic to reach the center all have impact in the case of death.

He also emphasized on the lack of low qualify doctors, stressing they have only three medical doctors and bad road condition delays them in reaching patients in time.

“Maternal health is not helping women because no free services at hospital, no proper transportation, pregnant women are brought to health center by hammocks and there only free health facility is the government hospital that is located in Sanniquellie and very far from some towns and villages,” Comfort Tokpah of the Concern Women in Ganta noted.

Madam Tokpah called on government to put in more efforts in addressing maternal death, just as she has given women the courage to speak out for themselves. Edited By Fredrick P. W. Gaye

Tear Fund Launches Reports on Ebola, SGBV

The British Charity Tear Fund has launched a qualitative report on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and the Ebola Virus recovery programs.

The report on SGBV reveals that there is still a degree of impunity  for men who perpetrate violence and abuse. The report further discloses that survivors of Sexual Gender Based Violence are still stigmatized in society.

According to the charity report on SGBV, patriarchal norms informed by religion and culture still dominate people’s world views and inform opinions and perspectives on gender relations and SGBV. (Patriarchal norms are accepted with scant consideration of the possibility of any change to the status,” the report indicates.

It stresses the need for faith communities to play a key role in the response to SGBV but their capacity for the task is inadequate.

The report also reveals that incapacity includes the lack of both adequate and up to date theological and theoretical knowledge beyond their church practices and doctrines, and the requisite knowledge of practices and strategies in the gender equality/women‘s rights sector.

The charity asserts that poverty overshadows almost everything else in communities and relegates gender issues to secondary concerns among others.

The charity has   meanwhile forwarded several recommendations aimed at addressing the issues of Sexual Gender Based Violence in Liberia. Amongst them is shifting the dominant negative gender norms that still view men as leaders with women as sub servants, and promoting gender equality gender equality, requires an intervention that focuses on women.

Sexual Gender Based Violence of women and children is primarily a result of the unequal power relationship between men and women.

The charity envisages the intervention for transforming masculinity must be accountable to women’s rights struggle, and promote empowerment programs.

Launching the report, Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell called on partners to coordinate efforts to ensure the fight against Sexual Gender BV is successful.

She said the case of SGBV in Liberia is seriously alarming and there is a need for stakeholders to be proactive in solving the issues of SGBV in Liberia.

Minister Cassell used the occasion to appeal to the Legislature to pass the Domestic Violence Act.

According to her, when the act is passed it would put in place proper measures in the fight against SGBV.

The Gender Minister commended Tear Fund and other partners for the launch of the report describing it as a tool that will give a clear picture of SGBV situation in Liberia.

In a related development, the charity has released a report on Ebola with the aim of establishing the Ebola recovery policies in Liberia.

The Ebola   research report is also intended to evaluate   support received in practical tense by survivors and other affected persons, and record  lessons learned  for recovery periods in future health emergencies.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Francis Kateh said the foundation of a good health service delivery is the community.

Dr. Kateh noted that the community has a pivotal role ensuring that they appreciate services rendered them by health workers.

He said if the community appreciates the kind of services , then the issue of resilience in the health will be of paramount concern to the community.

The Deputy Health Minister stressed the need for awareness to be carried out robustly with the aim of educating community members about health services.

Part of the finding released by the charity on Ebola is the producing recovery policies in a timely way , inform  communities of their rights.

The charity also stressed the need for the dissemination of information as possible amongst other key recommendations.

The launch brought together several international partners, local groups amongst others.

 

(Edited By Fredrick P. W. Gaye)

 

WAHO Hosts Regional Meeting On Post-Ebola

By Mafanta Kromah

The West African Health Organization (WAHO) on Monday April 10, 2017 held a high level meeting. Held  at the Golden Gate Hotel in Paynesville outside Monrovia, the gathering was aimed at emphasizing on the status of implementation of the decision of the heads of states and governments on the prevention, detection and control of Ebola.

The meeting also emphasized on the status of resource mobilization and partnership on the prevention, detection and epidemic control and also status of the implementation of perspectives and challenges of the  Abuja Deceleration and status of the implementation of resilient plans and perspectives of the three affected post Ebola countries.

Speaking during the meeting, Dr. Xavier CresPin, Director General of WAHO noted that the objective of the regional meeting is to access key decision and put in place a national committee to unite them as one.

He said the meeting discussed how to involve other sectors including the Agriculture and among others, noting they have money in their fund but it is not sufficient enough to achieve their target.

Dr. CresPin explained that they have sent 150 medical staffs from the 15 countries for advanced knowledge in improving the health system in the various countries.

At the same time, the Minister of Health, Dr. Bernice T. Dahn, said that the recent experience from the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) reminds and challenges them of being at risk to any disease outbreak, something she said needs to be adequately prepared.

She said disease threat in any of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a threat to all including the international community, stressing, “the existing inadequacies in our health system also reminds us that we are all vulnerable and thus, shared vulnerability requires shared responsibility including sharing resources, expertise and information.” “We should work tediously to achieve this in our region,” she said.

Dr. Dahn indicated that the recommendation from the IHR Joint External Evaluation and the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to prepare, detect and respond rapidly and effectively to the disease outbreak, multi hazard threats and others humanitarian emergencies will be built and developed through the capacities of Liberia and its partners.

In addition, she stressed that Liberia recognizes the on-going work within the ECOWAS to improve prevention, detection and response with support of key technical and donor partners.

In her conclusion statement, she commended representatives from the 15 countries for  their active participation in the important meeting and hope that the meeting will provide unique opportunity to generate, concrete result that will be realistic and readily implementable to improve preparedness, detection and response in the EVD affected countries and in all states of ECOWAS.

Meanwhile, Dr. Momodou Horouna of WAHO thanked Liberia and members for organizing the meeting and allowing them to meet and discuss issues about the improvement of the health sector of the 15 countries. He also thanked participants for the effort put in place for rebuilding their health system.

(Edited by Fredrick P. W. Gaye)