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Prez Sirleaf wants health, human securities prioritized

EM Release
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf  addresing the UN-Assembly
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf addresing the UN-Assembly

( 30, 2015)-President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says the prioritization of health and human securities remain critical to the achievement of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

President Johnson-Sirleaf said human progress is often measured in terms of their health as basic human security.  She also said basic human security thrives alongside trappings of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to a dispatch from New York, the Liberian leader spoke Monday, September 28, 2015 at a high-level meeting on “The Path towards Universal Health Coverage: The Promotion of Equitable Global Health and Human Security in the Post-2015 Development Era.”

The event, held on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly, was co-sponsored by Japan, France, Senegal, Thailand, as well as the World Health Organization and the Global Fund.

President Johnson-Sirleaf said by adopting universal health coverage, the world would have positioned its energies towards combating various health-related challenges such as infectious diseases.

She re-echoed the call that the rapid response to strengthening the global health systems is crucial to confronting potential pandemics.

The Liberian Chief Executive also emphasized the need for strategic pooled financing instruments, backed by private partnership, to play a major role in translating global goals into investment within the context of global health.

“This makes it exceedingly imperative for global health leaders to adapt to the transitioning landscape critical to determining the unprecedented achievements in global health, following the adoption of the SDGs,” the Liberian President noted.

Also making an input, Liberia’s Deputy Minister for Public Health Emergencies, and Head of the country’s Incident Management System (IMS), Tolbert Nyenswah, who accompanied President Johnson-Sirleaf to the meeting.

Minister Nyenswah also noted: “Prior to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease, significant progress had been made in the health sector as evidenced by an increase in the life expectancy of Liberians by 20 years.”

He said the period also witnessed a dramatic reduction of under-five infant mortality and the prevalence of malaria, among others.

The Deputy Health Minister described the adoption of the SDGs as a milestone, naming key actions of universal health coverage as: “Reduced direct payment out of pocket, mandatory pre-payment, and the use of general government revenue to cover those who cannot afford to pay.”

The Head of Liberia’s Incident Management System informed the global community that Liberia has effectively beaten the Ebola virus disease twice and the country has the capacity to deal with any resurgence.

He, however, recommended the following: “The universal health coverage be given much development assistance in both the short and medium-term, especially for fragile economies and health systems.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Executive Director, Margaret Chan, praised Minister Nyenswah and Liberia’s Incident Management Team for the effective and efficient manner in which they managed the Ebola crisis in the country.

She urged the International Community to support Liberia’s recovery process in the context of universal health coverage.

The event was addressed by scores of other world leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, WHO’s Executive Director, Margaret Chan, and UNICEF’s Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehi, among others.


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