Liberia To Host Second Joint External Evaluation Of IHR Core Capacities

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The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) has announced that Liberia is gearing up to host its second joint external evaluation (JEE) of the International Health Regulations (IHR) core capacities, noting that the significant endeavor underscores the entity’s commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of the people within and across the globe; Cynthia Quinisier reports.

   Speaking during a press conference on August 30, 2023 in Monrovia, the Deputy Director General for Technical Services of NPHIL, Dr. Julius S.M. Gilayeneh, said the joint external evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of the country’s readiness to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies, in line with the international health regulations since 2005.

   According to him, these regulations provide global framework for managing the cross-border spread of diseases and other health risks, ensuring a coordinated national and international response.

   Dr. Gilayeneh said Liberia conducted its first JEE in 2016, resulting in an overall readiness score of 46%. “This pivotal assessment led to the formulation of national action plan for health security (NAPHS) for 2018—2023, designed to identify gaps and recommendations from 2016 JEE. Since the first JEE in 2016, Liberia has made substantial progress in strengthening health system and emergency response capacities, evident by the response to COVID-19 pandemic,” he observed.

   He said Liberia initiated its midterm assessment in 2019, with an overall readiness score of 49% and 2021 NAPHS implementation evaluation yielding a readiness score of 52%, which will subsequently inform the country’s next national action plan for health security.

   “I urge all Liberians to recognize the significance of the upcoming joint external evaluation. Our commitment to strengthening health system and emergency response is an investment in the health and prosperity of Liberia,” he added.

   At the same time, Dr. Musu J. Duworko said the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges the significance of the joint external evaluation (JEE) conducted by the organization. These evaluations are vital voluntary external assessments of a nation’s capacities in preventing public health threats.

   The JEE brings together a diverse group of international experts every five years, fostering collective introspection into a nation’s strengths, and weakness, in terms of preparedness response in public health.

    According to her, the second JEE also provides an opportunity to evaluate the investment made by Liberian government in collaboration with partners, following the Ebola outbreak and during COVID-19 pandemic in building a resilient health system using the One Health and whole of government or society’s approach.

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