Liberia: Health Workers Call for Investment in Maternal Newborn Health and Child Nutrition

In continuation of efforts aimed at promoting improved maternal newborn Health and Nutrition services in Liberia through the implementation of universal health services, the Government of Liberia with support from UNICEF held a two-day Maternal Newborn Health and Nutrition Conference 2022 in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County.

The conference took place on June 28-29, 2022, to review progress made in implementation and reduction in Maternal Newborn Mortality and the Health and Nutrition Investment cases in Grand Gedeh County.

The conference with theme: Invest in Maternal and Newborn Health and Nutrition to Reduce Maternal and Newborn Deaths in Liberia brought together health partners, Local, Religious and Traditional Leaders, Civil Society Organizations, parents and students from across Grand Gedeh County.

The call for renewed commitment and increased investment toward maternal newborn health and child nutrition and elimination was underscored by all stakeholders and partners in the County.

The two days activities included street parade, indoor program, displayed and demonstration of Health and Nutrition booths that showcased key interventions and Social Behavioral Change messages, Family planning with male and female condoms usage demonstration, Immunization and the demonstration of Nutritional counseling and awareness for pregnant women and Baby Mothers and a call for actions.

Speaking during the opening of the conference Grand Gedeh County Health Officer, Dr. Tebo Boduo, said the conference objective was to review the improved progress made on the status of maternal health and nutrition, newborn, child health and nutritional services Adolescent health and Nutrition in Grand Gedeh.

Dr. Boduo pointed out that while huge gains in the fight against Maternal Newborn Health and Nutrition have been made in recent years by Government and partners, “newborn child health and nutrition services still have a devastating impact on people’s health and livelihoods around the world”.

He noted that this year’s national theme: “Invest in Maternal and Newborn Health and Nutrition to Reduce Maternal and Newborn Deaths in Liberia”, demonstrates the need for increased grassroots participation in the fight to eliminate Nutrition, Newborn Child health in the Country.

Dr. Boduo pledged Grand Gedeh County’s support and commitment to continue investment and technical assistance to accelerate progress towards attaining maternal nutrition services

Also speaking in separate remark and the overview of the program, Madam Jemimah Browne, the Adolescent Health Coordinator at the Ministry of Health, who represented the Health Ministry at Grand Gedeh conference said, as Liberia looks towards 2030, urgent collect actions are needed to meet the SDG-era targets for maternal and newborn health (MNH) and prevention of stillbirths. She said while many countries have taken meaningful steps, progress has plateaued amid competing health priorities especially as countries transitioned through phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, we have gathered here as stakeholders to review, brainstorm on the cost-effective ways to address Maternal, Adolescent, Child Newborn and Nutrition issues affecting our people” said Madam Jemimah Browne.

Other speakers included County Inspector, Partners and CSOs. Similar programs were carried out in other counties. Over 200 Health delegates, partners, CSOs and students from across Grand Gedeh County attended and participated in this year’s Conference 2022.

At the end of the conference, some five (5) health workers in the county were recognized for their dedicated services and was awarded certificates of appreciation for their best performances as Officer In Charge (OIC), Certified Midwife, Traditional Midwife, Community Health Assistant (CHA) and Vaccinator. The conference also ended with a conference resolution with stakeholders, health partners joining hands and formed a solidarity chain as a symbol of reaffirming their commitments and support to working collaboratively towards the universal health implementation and that communique is expected to be signed by Grand Gedeh County Health Team, Country Authorities, CSOs, District Commissioners and Trained Traditional Midwives and key partners in the county.

After the certification of best performing caregivers, and in his final closing remarks of the 2022 Maternal Newborn Health and Nutrition conference on July 29, Grand Gedeh County Health Officer Dr. Tebo recounted the works and sacrifices made by health workers in the county in ensuring everyone has access to health services every time amid the challenges of bad road conditions for people from towns and villages to reach to the health centers.

“I want to thank UNICEF particularly for their continued support and contributions towards the improvements in the health sector”, Dr. Bodou averred.

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