President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
‘Community Role Key To Resilient Health System’ - Sirleaf
By Prince S. Nagbe
MONROVIA, August 29 (LINA) – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said community engagement is “the best response mechanism and is key to building a resilient health system” across the African region.
“As experience showed, the shifting from policing to participation brought results in the fight against the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia,” President Sirleaf noted.
Delivering a speech at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Summit organized by the Government of Japan in Nairobi, Kenya Sunday, the Liberian leader indicated that the promotion of communication, participation and leadership from the community results in more sustainability in preparedness and resilience.
Speaking on the theme: “Building a Resilient Health System in Liberia,” she emphasized that the involvement of community volunteers builds confidence and increases public health awareness at very low cost.
“Community mobilization provides citizens the opportunity to take ownership of their wellbeing and health, thus increasing life expectancy and happiness; this good lesson speaks to African solidarity,” she added.
President Sirleaf said though several countries, on a bilateral basis, took action and decisions that helped the affected countries, the Africa Union quickly established the first medical response group, the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA).
She explained that the formation of ASEOWA brought 265 professional healthcare workers from seven countries that joined the fight against the disease.
“It is also meaningful to note the role of the private sector in the ASEOWA initiative as several companies joined together to support the work of ASEOWA,” the President pointed out.
The Liberian leader then thanked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the people of Japan for the bilateral support given the affected countries through ASEOWA.
She disclosed that the affected countries are in the process of strengthening the resilience of their health systems and have developed a healthcare regional network system that provides better understanding of the challenges on the affected countries and have developed response mechanisms to effectively and timely contain any future outbreak as was twice the case in Liberia.