26 April 2017
MONROVIA, Liberia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf today outlined strategic areas of partnership between Liberia and the Global Fund, stressing the need to accelerate the process of building resilient and sustainable systems for health to prevent disease outbreaks. Liberia was the epicenter of the 2014 Ebola outbreak that claimed more than 11,000 lives across West Africa.
Meeting with Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, President Sirleaf cited the great value in investing strongly in health systems as a way respond to all diseases, including deadly outbreaks such as Ebola.
WHO declared Liberia free of the Ebola virus in January 2016. The disease killed more than 4,800 people in Liberia – the highest number of deaths of any country.
The disease overwhelmed the country’s health systems, interrupting prevention and treatment for other diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis, and increasing the number of deaths from these diseases.
Nevertheless, Liberia showed great resilience by galvanizing health workers and communities to respond to the disease. The Global Fund partnership is investing in the government-led effort to rebuild and strengthen systems for health.
“We thank the all international partners for standing with us in the battle against Ebola,” said President Sirleaf. “We have come a long way. Now the hard work of transforming our development infrastructure must continue. We appreciate the Global Fund partnership’s continued support in rebuilding our health systems.”
“We are tremendously encouraged by the heroism of the people of Liberia – from volunteers at the village level to ambulance drivers and clinicians who fought back day and night to save lives and claim victory over Ebola,” said Dr. Dybul. “We will continue to stand with the government and the people of Liberia as we strive to build resilient and sustainable systems for health to beat future disease outbreaks as well as end the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the country.”
The Global Fund partnership is supporting Liberia to plug gaps in health care delivery, including financial management, procurement, supply and management of medical and pharmaceutical products, health information systems, monitoring and evaluation, and service delivery. The partnership is supporting the construction of a Central Medical Store and the training of health workers in the country.