MONROVIA, Feb. 11 (LINA) – “People must have the right knowledge, the right skills, and the right information to make health choices,” said United Nations Resident Coordinator, Niels Scott, during the recent launch of the landmark Polio Emergency Operations Center in Monrovia.
The first-ever EOC to be established in Liberia was launched by President George Manneh Weah recently.
For the local UN chief, he harbors no iota of doubt that strong leadership for healthy urban planning and preventive measures in communities and primary healthcare facilities can be the basis by which Liberia can achieve a successful healthcare delivery, with the support of its international partners.
The UN official encouraged all UN agencies to continue working in partnership with the government towards achieving a unified goal of health and the containment of the Polio outbreak and to invest in health infrastructure based on the current evidence of the cost-effective or prevention measures in comparison to treatment.
“This success will be measured in three ways: one is good governance for health, making health a central line of government policies. The second is health literacy; and finally, strong leadership and commitment for healthy urban planning and provision of preventive measures in communities on primary healthcare facilities,” Mr. Scott said.
On behalf of the United Nations family in the country, Mr. Scott reaffirmed all UN agencies’ support to government aimed at strengthening the health system that he believes can be more effective and trusted enough by the public.
“The United Nations remains committed to the people of Liberia and to working with the government of Liberia to respond to the two health emergencies – Polio and COVID-19 that the country is currently facing.
“With funding from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the UN, through Unicef and WHO, is providing support to the entire response through the provision of vaccine, vaccine cold chain management, disease surveillance and working hand-in-hand with the government of Liberia to train health workers and community mobilizers and working with communities to ensure those considered virtually the most vulnerable such as children are protected from diseases.
At the dedicatory ceremony of the center, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said the facility will make strong the country’s capacity to well-coordinate the response to the circulating of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs).
Moreover, Mr. Scott advised on the need by stakeholders to continue to promote preventive measures and health interventions that will address in an effective manner, risk factors to communicable disease in health seeking behavior and promote healthy lifestyle.
According to him, the center will bring all the partners together under the leadership of the Government, the Ministry of Health and the appointed national manager of the EOC to take corporate decisions on health-related issues at the time when the country is just in a polio outbreak.
‘‘We all know that polio is a dangerous disease that has effects on our lives; it is our responsibility as ‘foreigners’ to work together to protect the children in Liberia from this disease, » noted Scott.