MONROVIA, March 20 (LINA) – Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has called on health workers participating in the ongoing Community Health Workers (CHW) Symposium to give their very best in the engagement to find the best module to improve community health services across the globe.
Community Health Workers are members of a community chosen by community members or organizations who are trained to provide basic health and medical care within their community, and are capable of providing preventive, promotional and rehabilitation care.
Speaking over the weekend at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town during a media engagement ahead of the official launch of the CHW symposium, the Health Minister disclosed that the objective of the conference is to foster cross-country learning, exchange and further amplify community health workers’ voices for betterment across the globe.
She added that the symposium is expected to elevate countries progress and accelerate political momentum to professionalize and institutionalize community health workers.
“We also want to shine a spotlight on countries’ examples of financing modules and demonstrating sustained financing for CHW. We want to enhance accountability and governance by prioritizing measurements and harmonizing existing metrics to monitor progress towards institutionalizing CHW programs.
“We want to also leverage on new and emerging evidence, best practices and partnership to share innovations that strengthen CHW skills and systems that support them,” Liberia’s Minister of Health noted.
The Health boss indicated that the services of community health workers benefit more than one million plus people that live far away from the country’s nearest health facility.
The CHW symposium will be held under the theme: “Advancing Community Health Workers Program to Build Resilient and Equitable Health Systems that Accelerate Primary Healthcare for Universal Health Coverage.”
Meanwhile, Minister Jallah revealed that the conference has been able to register over 700 delegates both in and out of Liberia from 46 different countries as well as high-level officers from UN agencies, Africa CDC, Development partners, Community Health Champions, and Community Health Workers, among others.
The Liberian Health official maintained that the third edition of the international CHW symposium is critical and will be built on the Asternal Declaration of 2019, the African Union calls for two million CHW of 2020, the ongoing global conversation around pandemic preparation and response, the previous two CHW symposiums from Uganda 2017 and Bangladesh in 2019 as well as the institutionalizing community conference of 2017 and 2021.
Minister Jallah then extolled national and international partners, including the Ministry of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, General Service Agency, Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Liberian National Police and Liberia Immigration Services for their collaboration and cooperation.
“We want to use this time and medium as a government to express our profound gratitude to all of our health partners, especially to the Health System Global, USAID, Global Fund, World Bank, Last Mile Health, IRC, UNICEF, Partners in Health and the Community Health Roadmap for all your initial financial and technical support to this event,” the Health Minister said.
Also, the Country Director of Last Mile Health, Madam Marion Subah, expressed her institution’s pleasure to be a part of the CHW symposium, citing that her entity takes seriously the issue of having health workers at the level of the community.
She narrated that the symposium will give participants as well as members of the public the opportunity to see the little gains and challenges within the 46 participating countries.
The Last Mile Health official stated that the conference will build on the resilience of participating countries taking into consideration the recent pandemic that struck the globe.
The Community Health Workers Symposium is expected to officially kick-off on Wednesday, March 22, and is expected to end on Friday, March 24, 2023.
However, it was revealed by the organizers that there will be side-events on Monday and Tuesday, March 20 and 21, respectively, ahead of the official launch of the program on Wednesday.
Ibrahim A. Sherif