President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf On Developments In Health Sector
MONROVIA, January 25 (LINA) -President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has stressed that a well-functioning healthcare delivery system is vital to the achievement of all other development goals.
“A healthy people make a healthy nation,” the Liberian leader emphasized.
Delivering her State of the Nation address at the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill Monday, President Sirleaf said in pursuance of this, her government has improved access to healthcare delivery in the country from about 30 percent to about 70 percent and significantly reduced maternal mortality.
“We reduced the incidence of malaria from 68 percent to 28 percent; primary healthcare delivery is free all over the country today,” President Sirleaf said adding, “we were singled out by the United Nations for recording the highest number of change in the reduction of under-five mortality.”
President Sirleaf, however, noted that weakness in health infrastructure and prevention control still remain a challenge in the healthcare delivery system, noting, “These weaknesses in the healthcare delivery system were exposed when the deadly Ebola disease struck the country.
According to President Sirleaf, with the support of partners, a ten-year healthcare development plan has been concluded and implementation has begun.
She indicated that all the 15 counties now have government-run hospitals, noting that the last one was recently constructed and is operational in Fish Town, River Gee County.
“There are now 712 hospitals functioning in the country, 275 of which are privately-owned or faith-based,” sher pointed out.
President Sirleaf further disclosed that five regional public health laboratories capable of high quality diagnosis of diseases such as Ebola to improve the capacity to respond appropriately are now fully operational.
“A new college of physicians and surgeons has also been established to provide home-grown specialized training to doctors and other professional medical personnel,” the Liberian leader added.
President Sirleaf renewed her government’s commitment to maintain the Jackson Fiah Doe Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County as the best referral hospital in the country.
She also disclosed that efforts are ongoing to restore the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia to its original status as the country's primary referral health facility.
According to President Sirleaf, the number of healthcare workers has more than doubled since 2006 from merely 4,000 to over 10,000.
She added that doctors, who in 2006 earned 30 dollars a month today earn a minimum of US$1,000, while nurses who earned about US$10 in 2006 today earn at least US$225.