The World Bank on Wednesday, May 9, provided 12 vehicles (4 ambulances and 8 jeeps) to the Ministry of Health to support maternal, neonatal and child health delivery services in Liberia.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Munirat I.A. Ogunlayi, the World Bank Liberia Health Specialist, said the vehicles will contribute to improving access to skilled health care providers, thus contributing to the reduction in maternal and child mortality in Liberia.
She expressed the need for the desired purpose of the donation to be fully implemented by the Ministry of Health. She added, “I am delighted that Gbarpolu is one of the counties benefiting from this donation, as she narrated the story of how she met and helped a pregnant woman in labor who had walked two miles to reach the nearest health facility. This she believes is just one of many women facing such problems in hard-to-reach areas of the country.
Receiving the vehicles, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah thanked the World Bank and UNFPA for the donation. She said reducing maternal mortality is a multi-sectoral approach that requires efforts of all sectors, citing good roads for easy access, education and others. Dr. Jallah assured good use of the vehicles through proper monitoring and maintenance. She further assured the donors that the vehicles will be used for the intended purpose.
The project is being implemented by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Dr. Remi Sogunro, UNFPA Resident Representative in Liberia, presenting the keys of the vehicles to Minister Jallah, further emphasized good use of the vehicles for the reduction of maternal mortality in the country.
The beneficiaries of the vehicles and ambulances equipped with communication devices for referral and monitoring of maternal and child health services are Montserrado, Margibi, Rivercess, River Gee, Lofa, Gbarpolu, Sinoe and Bomi counties.
In addition to vehicles donation, the US$3.3m project have trained 284 health care providers in the delivery of Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care, while 18 health facilities across the country benefitted from equipment supply and renovation or construction of maternity places where required.
About the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.