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World Bank approves $16m to support reproductive, maternal and child health in Liberia

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The World Bank Group has approved a $16 million grant from the Global Financing Facility (GFF) to help improve the quality of primary and secondary health care services in Liberia.

This grant will support initiatives with focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), according to the World Bank Group

“This Health Systems Strengthening Project Additional Financing is critical in addressing the health of women and children; it will help to significantly reduce maternal mortality and preventable deaths of children under the age of five,” Larisa Leshchenko, World Bank Liberia Country Manager said.

The World Bank says, the grant will address six priority investment areas in essential health services and health system bottlenecks

The areas are, quality Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care including antenatal and postnatal care and child health, strengthening the civil registration and vital statistics system, adolescent health interventions, maternal and neonatal deaths surveillance and response, sustainable community engagement and leadership, governance and management at all levels.

These areas were identified by the Ministry of Health, United Nations agencies, bilateral partners, NGOs, and the World Bank through the joint development of national Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) investment case supported by the GFF, the group said.

The Health Systems Strengthening Project Additional Financing uses a community-based approach which will involve training and deployment of Community Health Assistants to provide a comprehensive package of preventive, promotive and curative services at the household level for populations residing more than five km from their nearest health facility, and carry out community event based surveillance to prevent and respond quickly to disease outbreaks, it said

Additionally, it will also deploy performance based financing to counties and primary health facilities based on the quantity and quality of essential health services provided. The priority investment areas in the RMNCAH Investment Case will be supported through these service platforms, in addition to dedicated interventions.

The Ministry of Health will implement the project. The RMNCAH Investment Case will operate under a national and county platform for collaboration and collective action by the Ministry of Health, County Health Teams, communities, faith based organizations, professional associations, the private sector, development partners and the international community (including the UN agencies), the Group noted.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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