Unification City, Margibi County – Community members including mothers and pregnant women of the Unification Town Clinic catchment communities have expressed gratitude to the Liberian government and partners for what they described as effective and free health care services.
Report By: Kosain B. Lombeh, LMD Responsible Health Reporting Fellow
“I am very grateful to the people who are making these medicine available to our children,” said Comfort Farnai, 30, a mother of three children who is a resident of Needonwein community – one of the catchment communities service by the Unification Town Clinic.
“We pray that this will not end because, we too, whenever we get sick, they can give us treatment,” she said.
Daniel Nehmonoh, father of six children and resident of Jungle Farm Estate, recounted that his two-year-old son survived Malaria because of the “quick intervention” of the Community Health Assistants (CHA) in his community.
While Mr. Nehmonoh is appreciative for the free health services, he and many other community members are calling on the government to continue the community health initiative which is expected to end this year.
The Clinic serves approximately 10,842 people in the 32 catchment communities of Mabahnkaba health district, according to Madam Nancy T. Allison, one of the community health service supervisors (CHSS) in the health district.
Ms. Allison said the program has a little over 100 trained CHSSs to deal with cases like cold, diarrhea, fever, malaria, and maternal health.
“These CHSSs are also encouraging pregnant women to be going to clinic regularly for treatment,” she added. “This began with us since 2017 with support from Plan Liberia Inc.”
Items like megaphones, hand gloves, goggles, nose mask, and PPEs are regularly supplied to enhance the work while partners like Save the Children regularly supply drugs to the clinic, Allison said.
Meanwhile, at a recent turning over of some drugs and medical supplies to community health assistants at the Unification Town Clinic, Mr. Marcus Tarr, the CHAs team lead, stressed how the support is “making our work easy in the field, that is why we are always grateful to all our donors”.
Another resident, Oretha Jacob said the community health talk, which involves giving tips and creating awareness about malaria, maternal health, and other diseases, is “improving the health care delivery system in our communities”.
“Because of the program, many women, especially big belly [pregnant women] are doing their medical checkup always at the clinic,” she added.
Marie Nah, 37, a mother of two children, says the program has sensitized she and many other women about the importance of maternal health.
“By the time this program came, I started going to clinic and started responding to treatment at the clinic and many women here are also do the same thing,” Marie said.
This community health intervention program is part of the CHA program, which is a 10-year project that began in 2011 and it’s expected to end this year. It is part of the national response mechanisms taken by the government with support from partners to tackle maternal mortality in the country.
The World Health Organization and World Bank 2021 report on Liberia’s maternal mortality ratio for 2021 is estimated at 1,072 per 100,000 live births, which means the country maternal mortality rate is at 661.00.