More Midwiferies needed in Liberia

During the 14-years civil war in Liberia, the health system became increasingly fragile, and lack of roads and transportation made it difficult for pregnant women to receive necessary emergency care. This issue has created a strong need to strengthen midwifery in Liberia by allowing many other serious organisations to join the struggle. BUT, it is strong battle to fight to get an accreditation.

As a result, Liberia has one of the highest mortality rates in the world according to one of USAID articles in 2015. The story has not changed. However, the country is now trying to change that story through investment in midwifery programs but more needs to be done. Currently, 44 percent of Liberian women give birth without a skilled attendant, and nearly one out of 138 mothers die from preventable causes during childbirth. Such issues could be avoided with basic training or strengthened midwifery programs in Liberia according to WHO.

There are 6 midwifery schools in Liberia, half of which are in rural areas, and less than 200 midwives for over four million people. Most of these midwives work in urban areas. Strengthening programs and allowing more programs to operate, especially in the rural area will definitely will improve access to quality care for women around the country.

Liberia Dujar University College is still awaiting an accreditation to join the schools operating the midwifery programs in Liberia. We have worried, we have had meetings with some well-known people but to no avail.

But here is one thing I learned: Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but does not get you anywhere. So why worry?

Nursing Textbooks to Dujar University College

Mr. Philip Davis, the 1st Dean of the Lois B. Hemgren School of Health Sciences, has gifted a consignment of over 100 textbooks on nursing and midwifery to Liberia Dujar University College from the United States of America, where he is currently studying for his doctorate degree in nursing administration.

The books were packed in a barrel and shipped to Liberia in the care of the President, Rev. Nathan F. Mahteh, Sr. The books have been logged and placed in the library.

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The college owes so much gratitude to its former Dean, and our appreciation is being conveyed to Mr. Davis by the President of the College. We will use this opportunity to request Mr. Davis to gather, especially, midwifery books for our upcoming midwifery program.

By: Tanneh-Bartee Seneh
Dean of Administration
Liberia Dujar University College

Swedish Government Approves US$212m for Liberia

MONROVIA, June 2 (LINA) -The Swedish Government has approved and adopted Sweden's new development cooperation strategy in Liberia from 2021 to 2025.
According to Swedish Ambassador Ingrid Wetterqvist, the new strategy is valued at an estimated US$212 million which is a 40 per cent increment from the previous strategy.

Ambassador Wetterqvist made the disclosure Wednesday at the National Conference on the Environment and Climate Change held at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town outside Monrovia.

She noted that one of the key pillars of the new strategy is the environment, climate and sustainable use of natural resources which are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 13, 14 and 15. She pointed out that with this new pillar, the Swedish Government will support climate-smart agriculture to improve food security, enhance agricultural productivity including improved land-use practices as well as support agricultural inputs.

"We will also support building community's resilience through climate change mitigation and adaptation, conduct environment, climate change and biodiversity scoping study to understand gaps in the embassy’s strategic engagement," Ambassador Wetterqvist added.

Meanwhile, British Ambassador Neil Bradley said developed countries have a responsibility to lead on climate action, but everyone, especially major economies must play their part. Ambassador Bradley stated that developed nations should imagine what it is like for communities on the frontline of climate change, struggling to deal with a crisis they did next to nothing to create.

He stressed that developed countries invest trillions overnight to address the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst ‘the US$100 billion a year that we have promised to support developing countries to respond to the climate crisis remains uncertain.

He disclosed that the United Kingdom is playing its part, “doubling our international climate finance to 11.6 billion pounds over five years.” Ambassador Bradley maintained that as donor countries, “we must all keep our obligation and deliver on that US$100 billion for without adequate finance the task ahead is near impossible.

LINA CB/PTK

LIBERIA HEALTH SYSTEM – LET LIBERIA DUJAR ASSOCIATION PLAY ITS PART

Liberia is one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 177 out of 188 in the UN development index.

Yes, between 1989–2003 the country was ravaged by civil war, which left 250,000 dead, and in 2013 a devastating Ebola outbreak decimated its already fragile healthcare system.
Liberia’s Healthcare system depends heavily on international donor support. Many healthcare facilities are run by the government, donors or through NGOs. But there is minimized private sector involvement in the health sector.

Liberia has heavily relied on the international community for health, education, infrastructure and aid but the country needs to have its own strong Healthcare system like many other African countries so that she can be proud as well.

Unfortunately, challenges facing the healthcare delivery system in Liberia is that it is chronically short of human resources, equipment, drugs, poor infrastructure, lack of inadequate funding for basic services. These are essential health and educational programmes that can change the situation of the country.

So many doctors, nurses and many others within the health sector have lost their lives, either to the civil war or Ebola while others have been taken out of the country through the Brain-Drain system. It is about time for Liberia to educate new doctors and nurses to replace those who who have gone beyond or have been invited to the United States, Europe and other parts of the world for a better-paid cheque. Liberia can also do it and many will be running back to the country.

Liberia Dujar Association would like to play its part in the health sector by opening a Midwifery Center but the process to do this is very long. The country needs more training centres in this sector.

But because of the too long waiting, lack of hospitals and clinics, this has contributed to every sick person who has money to fly out of Liberia to Ghana, South Africa, Europé or the United States for treatment instead of having our own well-equipped hospitals. What is being forgotten is that Liberia is enriching these countries and continues to keep them on the world map. What is needed is integrating our health system with other development sectors.

Liberia should focus on building strong health systems and institutions. This is what Liberia Dujar Association is striving to achieve for too long.

By Lois Hemgren

Top photo by: Per Hemgren