Improving Liberia’s health system

Project description

Title: Health Systems Strengthening and Epidemic Prevention Liberia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Liberia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Health Liberia
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Coaching and mentoring of laboratory professionals in Southeast Liberia

Context

The Liberian healthcare system faces various systemic challenges. Its core abilities to detect and respond to infectious diseases have been improved since the 2015-16 Ebola outbreak. However, the system is not yet able to effectively prevent acute outbreaks of disease or to quickly contain them with effective countermeasures. The system lacks infrastructure, adequate disease surveillance and data processing to identify initial cases. In addition, most laboratories have poor diagnostic facilities with a limited number of skilled staff. Emergency care is fragile at all levels of the system, and it also lacks coordination and functioning communication.

Against this background, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Republic of Liberia is cooperating with the National Public Health Institute on Liberia (NPHIL). They have set ambitious targets to reduce the risk of epidemics and improve access to secure and high-quality health services. The overarching aim is to provide adequate general health care.

Laboratory staff training in Southeast Liberia

Objective

The surveillance and response system for diseases, especially those with epidemic potential, is improving in the partner counties.

Approach

As well as supporting the MOH and the NPHIL at national level, the project operates mainly in three counties in the south-east of Liberia, the most remote and poorest area of the country. The project concentrates primarily on improving selected core capacities within the health system in three main areas:

  • Laboratories – improving capacities to provide quality-assured laboratory diagnostics, especially for diseases with epidemic potential
  • Disease surveillance and response – improving the system for reporting notifiable diseases, including COVID-19 response
  • Human resource development – developing gender-balanced human resources with a focus on epidemic prevention and respons

Last update: July 2021