Liberia: UNFPA Donates to CMS

… ..-US$50k Items; As Kamugisha Praises GOL For Transparency

MONROVIA-The United National Population Fund (UNFPA), formally the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) has presented to the Central Medicines Stores (CMS) in Upper Caldwell Township, Montserrado County, a consignment of Reproductive Health Kits valued at 50 thousand United States Dollars.

The Central Medicines Store (CMS) firstly the National Drug Service (NDS) is a component of the Health Ministry with its main office in the compound of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital on the 20th Street in the Sinkor suburb of Monrovia, which annex is in Upper Caldwell.

Some of the medical items in the consignment of Reproductive Health Kits included Levonirgestrel, Azithromycin dehydrate, Cefixime, Lamivudine, Pregnancy test dip strip, Post-rape care checklist for women, men, and children, Guide, clinical management of survivor of rape, Emergency contraception patient information leaflet, Povidone iodine and surgical gloves, among others.

Making the presentation last week, UNFPA Deputy County Representative, Leonard Kamugisha, extolled the Liberian Government through the Health Ministry for being transparent and accountable in handling the reproductive health supplies UNFPA has donated to over the past years.

Mr. Kamugisha said the entity was well pleased with what we are seeing and what we have heard which demonstrates the success in the partnership between Liberia’s Health authorities and the various United Nations agencies including the UNFPA.

He said strengthening the health sector of Liberia is one of the key priorities of the United National Population Fund (UNFPA) and all other UN system which has been good partners for many years and believing that what seeing coming out of all their collective efforts.

Kamugisha indicated as UNFPA, they have been working with the Health Ministry for many decades and currently in fifth phase of program, which means they have five circle of corporation with the Liberian Government and one of the key areas is to ensure that reproductive health commodities are available to all who need them.

The UNFPA Deputy Country Representative stressed that those commodities cannot be available to the end users in deepest parts of Liberia unless they are available that Central Medicines Stores (CMS) and the entity is pleased to see CMS has all systems in place that supports to receipt and distribution of the reproductive health commodities.

Kamugisha said one of the key challenges the country has is that there is a very high need for family planning including the very high cases of gender based violence and said the Liberian Government and partners cannot managed those two elements without appropriate reproductive health commodities. He disclosed that annually the UNFPA provided more than one million United States Dollars reproductive health commodities that include family planning products as well as kits for the management of sexual violence, among others.

But Kamugisha was quick to mention: “We are very pleased that we have not seen or heard of incidents of mis-management of the products that UNFPA provides to government. We also have an opportunity to visit the various health facilities where visually see the presence of reproductive health commodities but also clearer and actually see the used products provided by UNFPA. That is a clear demonstration that the support that is provided by UNFPA is actually use by the end users that is the women, girls and men in the Republic of Liberia, so we want to applaud the Ministry of Health for that commitment for ensuring that there is accountability for the commodities they provide”.

He however, spoke of the various challenges facing the health sector of Liberia but pledged UNFPA commitment in partnering with the Health Ministry in addressing some of the challenges.

Receiving the consignment on behalf of the Health Ministry, the Director for Family Health Division at that Health, Bentoe Tehounque, spoke of UNFPA support in helping to improve the reproductive health sector of Liberia.

According to Madam Tehounque, UNFPA support in the sector has immensely addressed the issues of sexual violence and family planning in the country. She said it support has also led to the improvement in the maternal mortality rate and the growth of family planning utilization in Liberia.

Madam Tehounque then thanked UNFPA for joining the Health Ministry to ensure that challenges in the reproductive health sector in the country are addressed.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the Central Medicines Stores, Boakai Boley took the UNFPA Deputy County Representative on a guided tour and explained briefly about the various operations at the CMS, ranging from receiving of consignments, storage, packaging, distribution and how secure is the CMS, among others.

UNFPA Areas of Work

UNFPA is the world largest multilateral source of funding for population and reproductive health programs. UNFPA works with governments and non-governmental organizations in over 150 countries with the support of the international community, supporting programs that help women, men and young people. It focuses on voluntarily plan and have the number of children they desire and to avoid unwanted pregnancies, undergo safe pregnancy and childbirth, avoid spreading sexually transmitted infections, decrease violence against women, increase the equality of women and encouraging the use of birth control.

UNFPA also uses a human rights-based approach in programming to address three transformation goals like zero preventable maternal death, zero gender-based violence and zero unmet need for family planning including ending of female genital mutilation and fistula.

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