Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn
Minister Dahn Upbeat Over Public Health Institute
MONROVIA, February 27 (LINA) - Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn has hailed the creation of the National Public Health Institute (NPHI), the first of its kind, and thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the level of involvement in setting up the institute.
Minister Dahn noted that the creation of the Public Health institute was triggered by the Ebola Virus that claimed more than 4,000 lives in Liberia and 11,000 in the other affected countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone.
She recalled that following the epidemic, the ministry developed a National Investment Plan with nine pillars, phase three of which plan called for capacity building, surveillance and response and the development of the National Public Health Institute.
When fully functional, the Public Health Institute will improve the health status of the country as an autonomous entity; provide expert advice on the causes of death and disability in the population to the ministry, decision-makers and further implement epidemic prevention and control programs, including research.
Minister Dahn also assured that investing in the NPHI is a cost-effective way of reducing disease morbidity and mortality.
The process creating the NPHI started in April 2015 with a draft zero concepts done by MOH, WHO and supported by CDC in Geneva.
It was followed by stakeholders’ meeting and study tours to Europe and Asia.
The necessary legal framework, strategic and operational plans were also developed.
Following an engagement of the legislature on the Act, it was sent to the president who sponsored it to that body.
After the normal legislative proceedings, both Houses passed the Act creating the NPHIL.
Later on December 27, 2016, President Sirleaf signed the bill and it was finally printed into hand bills this year.
A few days ago, the Liberian leader appointed Deputy Health Minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, as Director General of the institute and Dr. Mosoka Fallah as his deputy.
During the height of the Ebola epidemic, Nyenswah and Fallah served with the Incident Management System, strategizing the response but drawing on the wealth of technical expertise.