The West African Health Organization, WAHO Supports Liberia Towards the Establishment of Medical Emergencies Team
Liberia is one of the West African Country, most severely affected by Ebola and is facing the recurrence of other epidemic-prone diseases like Lassa, cholera, measles.
The country must also be prepared to respond to the emergence of new pathogens (Influenza H1N1, H1N8, avian flu, Covid-19).
Following the joint external evaluation of the International Health Regulations (IHR)'s capacities (2005) in 2016 and the development of different national plans, the country has undertaken to strengthen its capacities for better preparation and response to health emergencies. In the interest of building capacity for preparedness and response to health emergencies, Rapid Response Teams (RRT) are being trained at national and county levels. The implementation of the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) will augment and strengthen the clinical management component of RRT to ensure a comprehensive rapid and effective public health response.
To this end, the Ministry of Health of Liberia through the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) with the support of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and of the World Health Organization (WHO) organized from February 12 to 14, 2020 at K Plazza hotel in Buchanan, Grand Bassa county, Liberia a national awareness workshop on the Emergency Medical Teams. The objectives are -a) familiarize stakeholders with the concepts of Emergency Medical Teams and its application in epidemics and other health emergencies; -b) share experiences and lessons learned from EMT in other countries; c) identify national EMT and the necessary human resources and training for development and deployment; and -d) draft the national action plan for the development and implementation of EMT in Liberia.
This 3-day workshop is a follow-up to the recommendations of the regional awareness workshop held in Grand Bassam (Cote d’Ivoire) in June 2018 and is the 7th national consultative meeting in the ECOWAS region. It brought together more than 65 decision-makers and key stakeholders from various organizations (National Public Health Institute of Liberia, Ministry of Health, Health County Officers, Medical Emergency experts, Liberia Police Service, Liberia Fire Services, Liberia Army Forces, Ministry of Agriculture, and Liberia National Red Cross)
The development of the national EMT in Liberia should take into account the existing structures in the country (RRT, NTCC etc.), creating collaborations and linkages among them.
WAHO congratulated the Liberia authorities for their proactive leadership in their commitment to the creation of the EMT in Liberia and reaffirmed its availability to provide both technical and financial support to the implementation of some activities of the national plan.