By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas/GNN Senior Reporter
A local non-governmental organization, Prison Fellowship Liberia says it has included a new component in its human rights advocacy programs across the country.
The Fellowship Executive Director Rev. Francis Kollie in a chat with GNN-Liberia said the new program named and styled “Right to Health” is aimed at increasing the advocacy on the rights to health.
Rev. Kollie said it involves creating awareness and education on proper personal hygiene and how to access health facilities in towns and villages.
“The need to move in such direction can be over emphasized as thousands of Liberians stay lack access to health care delivery especially in the rural parts of Liberia, he noted”.
Rev. Kollie said stated that too many persons died on a daily basis from common diseases either due to lack of education or lack of access to a government or private run health care center in their district, town and village.
According to him, the Right to Health program currently affecting Bong County specifically, Fumah district is expected to reach other parts of the country in due course.
He said the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is sponsoring the program through the United States Agency for International Development USAID Fund Project Partnership for Advancing Community Services.
He named other partners as OSIWA, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, UNICEF, US State Department and Embassy near Monrovia among others.
Rev. Kollie commended the Health Ministry, Bong county Health Team as well as other partners for the level of support in making sure that some of the challenges in the health sector are addressed.
The Prison Fellowship head is quoted as saying there is an overwhelming reception from locals in towns and villages in Fumah district where the Right to Health program has picked off.
Rev. Kollie at the same time used the occasion to outline some of the Fellowship achievements over the period making reference to its Access to Justice Program.
He noted the organization has offered legal assistance to eight hundreds persons in eight of the ten counties where it operates, noting its Access to Justice Component of our program intended to help restore the dignity of the less fortunate and underprivileged.
Rev. Kollie also praised the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary and other legal bodies for working with the Fellowship as it seeks to advocate pretrial detainee after coming in conflict with the laws.
Four hundred children in six counties who came in conflict with law, while over eighty thousand persons have benefited from human rights awareness in keeping with its mandate as a human rights organization, he also disclosed.
Prison Fellowship Liberia is a charter member of the International Prison Fellowship and operates in eight of Liberia fifteen political sub divisions to include Montserrado Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bomi Grand Gedeh, Maryland and Lofa.
With fifty staff now across the country, Rev. Kollie assured that PFL remains committed to rendering legal assistance, rehabilitation and reintegration, Psychosocial counseling, education for detainees during and after jail terms at various prison facilities across the country.