President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Submits National Public Health Institute Bill For Enactment
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, September 10 (LINA) - A bill seeking to establish a "National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL)" has been submitted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the National Legislature for enactment.
The objective of the Bill is to create the legal framework to set up the NPHIL which will contribute to the development and sustainability of the public health workforce.
When enacted, the NPHIL will also develop, enhance and expand the nation's surveillance and response platforms as well as improve the development and strengthen the laboratory system and public health diagnostics of Liberia.
In a communication accompanying the Bill, read in the chambers of the House of Representatives on Thursday, the Liberian leader noted that the institution will also expand, conduct, and coordinate public health and medical research to inform Liberian public health policies.
President Sirleaf disclosed that the passage of the Bill will immediately repeal "The Act establishing the National Research Institute of Liberia" commonly referred to as "Liberia Institute for Bio Medical Research (LIBR)."
She said this will also lead to the amendment of Section 302 of the 1972 Executive Law and Title 12 of the Liberia Code of Law Revised thereby transferring Public Health and Biomedical Research functions of the Ministry of Health (MOH) to the NPHIL.
Upon passage of the Bill, President Sirleaf noted, the NPHIL shall collaborate and strengthen the MOH and other institutions in the health sector in a bid to maximize the infection prevention and control efforts of the Government.
According to the Liberian leader, the Bill is necessary based upon the fact that Liberia has experienced profound insurgencies of infectious diseases with the recent being the Ebola crisis which exposed the nation's health sector and claimed many lives.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Health, Judiciary, Ways, Means and Finance, among others, to evaluate the Bill and advise the body in two weeks.