Liberia has successfully concluded its National Self-Assessment and Implementation Review meeting, which took place over three days at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia. The meeting, held in accordance with the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), aimed to assess Liberia’s preparedness and response capabilities ahead of the upcoming Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of the country’s public health system.
Throughout the three days, key stakeholders, including government officials, health experts, and international partners, engaged in comprehensive discussions, information sharing, and interactive sessions. The meeting facilitated a thorough evaluation of Liberia’s national health systems, public health infrastructure, emergency response mechanisms, and surveillance capabilities.
The participants critically examined Liberia’s ability to detect, assess, and notify potential public health risks promptly. They also focused on the country’s capacity to effectively manage emergencies and coordinate international health responses. By identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, the meeting aimed to enhance Liberia’s overall health security posture and bolster its ability to protect its citizens from emerging infectious diseases and other health hazards.
The three days exercise, July 12 – 14, 2023, was funded by the World Bank through the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Project. The REDISSE Project is a five-year World Bank funded project, addressing disease surveillance, emergency preparedness and response, laboratory diagnostics, and human resource capacity development, in the context of One Health. The exercise is led by Hon. Chea Sanford Wesseh, Assistant Minister for Vital Statistics, Ministry of Health.
Hon. Chea Sanford Wesseh, Assistant Minister for Vital Statistics, Ministry of Health, emphasized the significance of the National Self-Assessment and Implementation Review meeting in building a resilient public health system. He stated, “This meeting has allowed us to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of our preparedness and response mechanisms. It has enabled us to identify areas where we excel and areas where we need to strengthen our efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our population.”
Also, Sonpon Blamo Sieh, Sr., Technical Coordinator of the REDISSE Project, has praised participants for committing to the exercise. He expressed that, “Findings from the self-assessment will inform the external evaluation schedule for late July 2023.
The outcomes of the National Self-Assessment and Implementation Review meeting will serve as a valuable foundation for the upcoming Joint External Evaluation. The JEE is an independent, collaborative process that evaluates a country’s capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to public health risks in accordance with the International Health Regulations. The JEE will further guide Liberia’s health policy decisions and provide a roadmap for strengthening the country’s health infrastructure, optimizing surveillance and response mechanisms, and ultimately ensuring the well-being of citizens.
By conducting a thorough self-assessment, Liberia positions itself to better address identified gaps and align its efforts with international standards.