-Wants Governance, Accountability And Citizens Participation
By Esau J. Farr
The World Bank, one of the leading donor partners of the Ministry of Health has pledged its continual support and partnership to the Ministry of Health in strengthening the health care delivery system of the country.
The disclosure was made mid-week by the Bank’s Liberia Country Manager, Ms Larisa Leshchenko at a start of a three-day stakeholder forum organized by the Ministry of Health and partners at a local hotel near Monrovia.
The commitment was contained in a statement delivered by Ms Leshchenko on Wednesday.
“I am indeed happy to join our visiting health officials and that of the Minister of Health to form part of this important workshop which will attempt to address institutional constraints to achieving desired outcomes of Liberia’s health care delivery system,” she hoped.
According to her, “While Liberia is building back and improving the health care infrastructure including training of health care workers, yet health outcomes suggest that much remains to be done.
For example, we are concerned about maternal mortality rate and teenage pregnancy rate which are amongst the highest in West Africa and the world”.
The World Bank Country Manager to Liberia averred that “Too many mothers are dying and too many young girls are not experiencing childhood the way they should.
The Human Capital Index released in September 2018 ranks Liberia at 153 out of 157 countries.
While many technical solutions will continue to be implemented, our experience suggests that these will need to be supported by governance, institutional and organizational reforms. There are a range of areas that Liberia recognizes as critical challenges.
These include human resource management, drug supply and drug management system, bringing citizens’ voices into health governance and improving transparency and accountability at different levels of the system. For example, do we have the right personnel, at the right facilities and at the right time? Do communities feel ownership for the facilities and their own health? Can citizens participate in the governance, management and oversight of health facilities?
Only with truly engaged stakeholders, be their service providers or service users, we can shift the pendulum.
This workshop aims to examine these issues. We need to understand how we can best move forward on these reforms using a lens of what is practical and feasible. If Liberia must improve on its ratings on human capital index and improve health outcomes, it needs to think much more about the critical pathways to results”.
She believed that the agenda of institutional reforms is very critical for this as well.
“The World Bank will continue to partner with the Liberian government to strengthen capacity of the country’s health care delivery system and for sustainable management of available resources.
On behalf of the World Bank Liberia family, congratulations to the government of Liberia for its efforts aimed at strengthening the health system. We look forward to continuing this partnership of the health system of Liberia,” she concluded. TNR