The Ministry of Health yesterday entered into an agreement with at least three international Non-Governmental Organizations and one local Non-Governmental Organization for the management of US$6 million intended to revive routine health services in five counties considered most affected by the Ebola virus across the country.
The amount to be managed was provided by the Government of Liberia and the counties to benefit are Montserrado, Nimba, Margibi, Lofa and Bong under the supervision of the MOH for the next six months while the partnership begins immediately.The International Rescue Committee (IRC), Africare, Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA) and MERCI are the organizations in that partnership.
Under the partnership, the fund will take care of routine services such as maternal newborn and child health, communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) apart from the overall management of the fund by the NGOs, specifically Africare is to manage funds provided for C.B. Dunbar and G. W. Harley; AHA is to manage the funds provided to healthcare centers in Montserrado County while MERCI is to supervise funds directed to the JDJ and Bensonville Hospitals.
According to the implementers of the GoL fund, it will be distributed based on the sizes and numbers of healthcare centers in each of the targeted counties and the amount of patient in-take and at the same time jump-start the restoration of the basic healthcare process in the health delivery sector so that gains made cannot be eroded.
We welcome the kind gesture of the international NGOs considering our poor healthcare delivery system. At the same time, we join the Ministry of Health to appeal to other partners to help in that direction as we laud the Government of Liberia for the initial contribution in the sector that has battered the Ebola scare and is in dire need of rebuilding its confidence.
For a fact we can say that so many things are happening in Liberia now and the rebuilding of the health sector is being keenly monitored because we believe that it was because of the deplorable healthcare system in our country that led to the immediate outbreak and rapid spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia. It is based on this that we are urging those responsible for handling the fund provided to do their best in distributing it and then managing it so that its impact could be felt.
Already our healthcare system was one of the sectors that are on records of mismanaging its budgetary allotment and doing nothing to encourage international donor partners as their aid had always been misdirected or distributed unevenly.
The Ebola scare had been one of the crises in Liberia that swept the country off balance and at the same time exposed the lapses in the sector thereby bringing our government to its knees but it is said that all is not lost as the system can still be revived and restored.
We are sure that when this initial fund is managed well as it targets the most affected Ebola counties, international partners and local institutions will buttress the effort so that our healthcare delivery system can improve where our people will once again gain surety of getting quality healthcare at home.
To the implementing partners, especially the international NGOs, the spotlight is on you to manage the fund well and at the end of the six months, bring back positive strategies that could be spread out to other counties so that nationally our healthcare delivery system can restore its confidence.