LIBERIA HEALTH PROFILE
The leading causes of mortality in Liberian children are mainly preventable causes: neonatal tetanus (23 per cent), acute respiratory infections (18 per cent), and malaria (15 per cent). Infant mortality stands at 117 per 1,000 live births (male: 119 per 1,000 and female 114 per 1,000) and under‑five mortality stands at 163 per 1,000 live births. These high rates place Liberia among the 10 most underdeveloped countries in the world. The maternal mortality rate of 578 women per 100,000 live births is also an indication of serious safe motherhood and child‑survival problems in post‑war Liberia.
Within this complex situation, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and UNICEF assessed the critically damaged health facilities. The assessment indicated the following: 266 of the 490 pre-war health facilities were damaged. At the end of 1997, only 68 of the 266 facilities had been reactivated. In 1998, 144 of the 266 public health facilities had been reactivated (see table below).
Health facilities before and after the war
|Type of health facility||Public||Per cent||Public||Per cent|
Source: Liberia Health Sector Assessment (1997 by WHO/MOH) and Liberia Health Sector Analysis (1999) by UNICEF/MOH.
One of the key factors that determine quality of health care is the availability of properly trained health personnel. In the public sector, the total number of trained professionals experienced a decline of 70 per cent, from 2,033 in 1989 to 609 in 1998 (MOH reports). This does not include the trained traditional midwives (see table 3 below).
Health personnel by category
|Medical doctors (MD)||260||32||87.7|
|Registered nurses (RN)||668||185||72.3|
|Physician assistants (PA)||254||120||52.8|
|Certified midwives (CM)||401||134||66.6|
|Licensed practical nurses||345||95||72.5|
Source: Liberia Health Sector Analysis, 1999, UNICEF/MOH
The implementation of health programs has not been fully successful on account of the lack of resources, limited health facilities, bad roads, cultural practices and poverty. Less than 30 per cent of the population has access to health care. Infant and child mortality in Liberia is among the highest in the world. Additionally, less than 20 per cent of children are fully immunized.
HOW WE ARE HELPING:
The Annie T. Doe Memorial Family Health Center will build on the standards available in these communities to deliver basic health care services where ideas and information exchanged will enhance the positives in the prevailing culture and challenge the negative culture to change. This approach has the potential to empower these communities to make the appropriate shift themselves for the better without having to conform to the prevailing atmosphere of hopelessness and despair.
Provides FREE health facility and basic health care services to women and children of marginalized communities that allow them to get immunized, free physical check-up, i.e. Blood pressure, diabetes, annual physical, STT prevention, Hygiene education), etc
Helps to improve Liberia’s mortality and morbidity rate by making health services easily accessible to over 5,000 women and children in marginalized communities
Fights to improve the Infant and child mortality in Liberia, which is among the highest in the world.
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