LIBERIA: CSOs Forum Launches Maternal Health Budget Advocacy

 An advocacy group aimed at accelerating Liberia’s realization of maternal, new born, sex reproduction and Universal Health Care has been launched in Monrovia.

The Maternal Health   Budget Advocacy Project was launched by the Civil Society Organizations National Budget and Human Rights Forum.

The project is supported by the World Bank through Save the Children to support civil society action advocacy to increase National Budget allocation to the sector.

Save the Children funding support from the World Health Organization which amount to 20.000 is a one year grant and is expected to run from January to December this year (2014).

The advocacy by the forum will focus on civil society participation and advocacy in national budget decision making processes, influencing increase spending on maternal, newborn, sexual reproductive health in the country and to deepen population understanding on the issue of Maternal Health and mobilize their participation in National Budget Advocacy, preparation and approval processes.

Activities of this one year project will include skill building of the media and civil society, development of issues paper elaborating key issues needing attention in Maternal Health Care, mobilizing csos working on budget and human rights issues to  attend advocacy meeting with the Ministry of Health in order to influence Maternal Health budget in the 2014-2015.

Other activities will also include mobilizing CSOs participation in the Budget formulation and hearing meetings at the Ministry of Finance.

Speaking at the launch of the project, the Director of Family Planning at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Cuallau Jebbeh Howe outlined several factors affecting this sector.

Dr. Howe said morbidity and mortality remain a serious challenge as Liberia still stand to be the country that dismally in Sub Sahara Africa.

She said some of the major causes of maternal and new born death ranges complication from abortion, anemia and infection among others health related sicknesses.

Recent health statistics indicate that of the total population of 3.5 million, 51 percent is below the age of 21 years (LDHS 2007  report)

While child mortality rate in Liberia is estimated at 110 per 1000 lives, infant mortality rate is 72 deaths per 1000 lives, while under five mortality is 112death per 1000 live birth.

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