264935 Health care in a post-conflict country: Rebuilding basic health services in Liberia

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Yah Zolia, RN, MSc - Deputy Health Minister , Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Monrovia, Liberia
Theo Lippeveld, MD, MPH , International Division, JSI, Boston, MA
Rose Macauley, MD, MPH , Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), Monrovia, Liberia
Vamsi Vasireddy, MD, MPH, DrPH , Rebuilding Basic Health Services, JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc, Monrovia, Liberia
Background: Liberia is a country rebuilding itself after a 14 year civil war. In order to improve health and well-being of all Liberians, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) developed a National Health and Social Welfare Policy and Plan (NHSWPP). Funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Rebuilding Basic Health Services Project (RBHS) supports MOHSW in implementing NHSWPP. This presentation will discuss RBHS' role in rebuilding Liberian health system and its implications in similar post-conflict countries.

Strategy: RBHS is guided by a strategic approach strengthening and extending health service delivery through performance-based contracts to five implementing partners; and building capacity and strengthening Liberia's health system in specified areas (e.g. workforce, infrastructure, performance-based financing, health information systems, and monitoring and evaluation)

Results: Since inception RBHS has delivered health services in targeted areas, built health care facilities across Liberia, delivered numerous training sessions to strengthen health workforce, and implemented behavior change initiatives. RBHS's main focus is now on capacity-building and health system strengthening so as to develop a health system fully sustained by the government.

Implications: The strategy in Liberia has potential to be applied in other post-conflict countries. The strategy employed by RBHS, to focus on delivery of essential health services immediately following the conflict, and later on strengthening the health system to promote sustainability, can be adapted and implemented in similar settings. Lessons learned from implementing this strategy in Liberia can contribute to develop a model for promoting country ownership and decentralization of governance.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe challenges faced by health system in a post-conflict country 2. Describe innovative approaches to address health care needs - immediate and long term - in a post-conflict setting 3. Demonstrate progress made towards delivering basic health services in a post-conflict country 3.Explain potential application of strategy used in Liberia in similar post-conflict countries

Keywords: International Health, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the Deputy Chief of the Party of the RBHS project, I oversee the project implementation and management.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.