Monrovia, 24 July 2023 – Liberia has been battling the COVID-19 pandemic for over three years because the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was reported within the nation on sixteenth March 2020. The federal government has tirelessly labored to implement life-saving options, leading to 84% of the inhabitants finishing the first collection of COVID-19 vaccinations as of fifth Might 2023. The teachings realized from managing COVID-19 have emphasised that well being isn’t just central to growth but additionally elementary to the financial system and society’s livelihoods. Liberia’s COVID-19 panorama has witnessed vital adjustments, with information indicating a decline in new infections, no recorded deaths, hospitalizations, or ICU admissions for over the previous twelve months.
Nonetheless, uncertainty prevails concerning the eradication timeline of COVID-19. The final word management measures depend on vaccines, therapeutics, and surveillance by way of the Built-in Illness Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system. As of Might 2023, newly reported COVID-19 instances have been reducing, with a median of 20 to 40 instances reported month-to-month from January to Might 2023. For the reason that index case affirmation in March 2020, 8,155 confirmed instances and 294 deaths have been recorded, with 96.4% of instances having recovered.
It has change into evident that COVID-19 is unlikely to be eradicated within the brief time period, and its impression on routine well being providers, in addition to socio-economic elements, continues to be vital. This difficult situation is compounded by restricted nationwide sources and diminishing worldwide monetary help, making it more and more tough to maintain a parallel response to COVID-19 and routine well being providers in the long run. Recognizing the urgent want for sustainable options, the alignment and integration of COVID-19 interventions into routine well being providers have emerged as one of many key priorities, including vital worth to the well being sector.
In mild of those issues, the Ministry of Well being with help from the World Well being Group (WHO) and funding from the European Union (EU) gathered stakeholders in well being sector over the previous week, to develop the COVID-19 After Motion Evaluation (AAR) which has knowledgeable the event of a Nationwide COVID-19 transition plan that pulls from the teachings realized throughout the COVID-19 response. The implementation of the Transition Plan intends to combine the COVID-19 response seamlessly into routine well being providers, making certain Liberia’s well being resilience towards future well being challenges at each nationwide and subnational ranges.
This two years (July 2023 to June 2025) nationwide transition plan outlines a complete roadmap for transitioning from the acute section of the COVID-19 pandemic in direction of a sustained response and restoration with the intention to strategically and sustainably spend money on resilient well being programs in a position to reply to public well being emergencies whereas sustaining important providers always.
The plan is predicated on the WHO steerage of five central components: 1) Emergency coordination; 2) Collaborative surveillance; 3) Group safety; 4) Protected and scalable care; and 5) Entry to counter measures as an alternative of the twelve emergency response pillars. WHO has really helpful that member states transition the COVID-19 emergency response in direction of resilient well being programs to attain Common Well being Protection (UHC), strengthen the Well being Emergency Preparedness, Response and Resilience (HEPR) and address future public well being crises.
The performing Minister of Well being Ms. Howard Nowu, acknowledged that because the nation enters the brand new section of long run administration of COVID-19, there’s a must study to stay with the virus thus, integrating COVID-19 administration and management into broader prevention and management programmes may be very vital, grounded on the rules of Primary Well being Care for a more resilient health system to effectively address future health shocks, while maintaining optimum provision of routine health care to all.
Representing the Minister of International Affairs, Ambassador Lawrence Amaji- thanked all of the entrance liners who work tirelessly throughout the response.
“Thanks for working exceedingly laborious to carry us to the place we’re as a rustic. Our plan ought to suggest robust actions that can resolve all or decrease all of the threats to our well being”, he mentioned.
Acknowledging the significance of the plan, the AFENET Liberia- Resident Advisor Dr. Maame, appreciated the collaboration of Ministry of Well being and companions within the essential course of.
“We admire collaboration with Ministry of Well being, Nationwide Public Well being Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), and all companions. With the present capacities in-built all 15 counties by way of Area Epidemiology Coaching Program (FETP) will go a good distance in retaining Liberia safe- Our response to COVID-19 was completely different from what we skilled throughout the 2024 EVD Outbreak, that is very encouraging”, mentioned Dr. Maame.
Representing the Armed forces of Liberia, Lieutenant Colonel, Joseph Kowo, emphasised the necessity to catalog the function of joint safety particularly the army, throughout emergencies into the plan highlighting the impression of the army.
“As we transition, we have to spotlight greatest practices of safety throughout the COVID-19 response. The army system is a system that all of us must construct to make sure assured help throughout emergencies and construct a resilient well being system”, mentioned Colonel Kowo.
This plan is a call to action for building resilient well being systems that address future public health crises, while securing essential public well being functions and sustaining continuity of quality health care services. The synergistic nature of well being system strengthening and emergency preparedness capacities is such that investment in one can benefit the other, with a potential reflip on investment
in phrases of financing, human useful resource and infrastructure.
“As our nation emerge from this disaster, now’s the second to speculate and maintain the good points made throughout the pandemic response and apply the teachings realized and capacities constructed from this pandemic and different current well being emergencies, to extend the resilience of our well being system towards future epidemics, pandemics and different shocks”, mentioned Dr. Monday Julius-Workforce Lead for well being emergencies -WHO-Liberia
“We stay dedicated to help in accordance with our mandate to allow the nation to construct a resilient well being system”, mentioned Dr. Monday.
Copies of the plan can be disseminated to related stakeholders and communities for his or her steerage and reference. The plan will improve the nation’s preparedness, resilience, and talent to deal with not solely the present pandemic but additionally future well being threats. WHO, together with USAID and different companions, stay dedicated to supporting the federal government of Liberia’s COVID-19 response at nationwide and subnational ranges, additional strengthening Liberia’s well being system and safeguarding the well-being of its residents.