Liberia Moves to Improve Standards and Access to Essential Medicines and other Supplies

Monrovia, 7 March 2016 - Access to safe, effective, good quality and affordable medicines is a vital component of a health care delivery system. As part of the Post- Ebola recovery program, the Ministry of Health (MoH), Liberia, has initiated a number of steps in strengthening the supply management chain system to ensure the availability of medical and diagnostic supplies on a regular basis at the various health facilities.

In this regard, the MOH with support from the World Health Organization conducted a number of technical working sessions to update and revise the 2011 National Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List within the context of the country’s current disease burden and priorities. These efforts are mainly geared at ensuring uniformity of treatment standards in all health care facilities and promoting access to essential medicines. It will also reduce on the cost of procuring unnecessary medicinal supplies, and promote rational medicine use and practices. 

These efforts culminated in the hosting of a validation workshop on the Essential Medicines List on 19th February 2016 at the WHO country office. Dr. Samson K. Arzuaquoi, Assistant Minister of Health-Preventative Services congratulated the working committee for the progress made, and emphasized the importance of having a powerful and highly technical document that can be used by all health care professionals at all levels.  The same sentiments were echoed by Dr. Emmanuel Musa, Deputy WHO Country Representative who pledged WHO’s continued support in strengthening this essential component of the health care delivery system. He also indicated that WHO will work with the Ministry to ensure dissemination of the revised and updated guidelines and support capacity building activities on their use.

During the workshop, participants critically reviewed and updated all sections of the essential medicines list and were therefore validated by a consensus endorsement of the document.  At the close of the workshop, the Assistant Minister and Dr Musa thanked all the participants for their valuable inputs and pledged to ensure that it is fully implemented.

Other partners involved in this process include Unites States Agency for International Development USAID-Deliver, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), UNICEF, Last Mile Health, Liberian College of Physicians and Surgeons, Liberian Pharmacy Board, and Liberian Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority. USAID-Deliver, UNICEF, and UNFPA are already keen to use the updated Essential Medicines List to develop a Medicines Supply Chain Design Master Plan for Liberia.

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For more information contact

Technical Officer: Samuel Gavi (Essential Medicines Program) - isaiahsg [at] gmail.com; " target="_blank"> isaiahsg [at] gmail.com;

samuelgavi [at] yahoo.com ; " target="_blank">samuelgavi [at] yahoo.com ;

Communication: Luwaga Liliane, emailluwagal [at] who.int ( )

 

 

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