This health policy has been formulated at a crucial time in Liberian history.
After decades of turmoil, the country is enjoying peace and stability, under the watch of a legitimate government,
recognized and supported by the international community. However, the scale of the destruction is such that it
will be overcome only after decades of sustained efforts. Aware of the complexity and risks of the course
ahead, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) has pressed on with the formulation of a health policy
and an accompanying National Health Strategic Plan explicitly aimed at guiding decision-makers through the
next five years. The health policy will evolve over time as data become more reliable, health systems are
strengthened and financial and human resources become more secure. The most urgent priorities will be addressed
first, and other less pressing, but equally important challenges will be addressed in the near future, once the
system has acquired additional capacity. The health sector faces two huge, competing challenges:
- Expanding access to basic health care of acceptable quality. This will
be possible only by attracting additional investments in infrastructure,
human resource development, and management systems, and resources to fund recurrent expenditures; by reducing systemic
inefficiencies and improving operations management.
- Establishing the building blocks of an equitable, effective, efficient,
responsive, and sustainable health care delivery system.
A social welfare policy has not yet been developed as substantive preparatory
work is still needed. Therefore, a major review of the social welfare field will be carried out in 2007. The review
will start with a thorough situation analysis where issues such as poverty, violence, displacement, unemployment,
gender inequality, disability, and vulnerability will be explored in detail. The new social welfare policy will
build on this assessment and will aim at restructuring a sector that is now fragmented and under-resourced, and is thus
unable to address the enormous needs of the Liberian population...