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Community Health Critical To Universal Access – USAID Boss
By Robert Dixon
MONROVIA, January 22 (LINA) - The Mission Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USIAD), Anthony Chan, has said Community Health plays a critical role in Enhancing Universal Access to Primary Healthcare.
He also said building resilient health systems has never been more apparent, both in Liberia and globally.
Chan said as the Ebola outbreak demonstrated, sustained community engagement is essential to achieving meaningful improvement in health outcomes and a community-centered approach to health systems.
He made the statement at a local hotel in Monrovia during the launch of the Community Health Workers Support for Advancing Liberian Livelihoods (CHWS FOR ALL).
The USAID official also indicated that community health care also strengthens the fundamentals to building a system that truly reaches those who are most underserved.
According to him, the Government of Liberia has made targeted commitments to building resilient health systems that deliver universal healthcare to the population.
Chan pointed that at the forefront of this effort is the revision of the National Community Health Service Policy and Strategic Plan and the subsequent launch of the National Community Health Assistance Program in 2016.
He said through these efforts, the country is poised to deploy over 4,000 Community Health Assistants across the 15 counties of Liberia, bringing life-saving preventive, promotional and curative services for 1.2 million Liberians living in remote communities outside the reach of Liberia’s health system.
“Donors such as USAID, UNICEF, Global Fund and World Bank have formed a coalition of financial and technical resources to support the Ministry of Health at this critical start-up phase of the National Community Health Assistance program,” he said.
He stressed that this is an unprecedented achievement that promises to bring meaningful change to building the lives of every Liberian through improvement in health, education and economic wellbeing.
“As we speak, Community Health Supervisors and Community Health Assistants are being trained by implementing partners like USAID-funded Partnership Community-based Services.
Also speaking, the head of CHWS, Abigail McDaniel, lauded the participants for gracing the occasion and the Liberia government for its support to the initiative
She said the aim of the CHWS is to build operational readiness to support the Ministry of Health’s historic National Community Health Assistance (CHA) Program.