6 October 2017

Liberia: Govt. Breaks Ground for New Public Health Institute

In light of Liberia's determination towards a resilient healthcare push, yesterday marked the historic groundbreaking by Liberia and its traditional ally, the United States of America for the construction of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL); a National Reference; and Regional Laboratory Buildings in Oldest Congo - outside Monrovia.

A NPHIL release says the Ministry of Health, National Public Health Institute of Liberia and the U.S. Department of Defense Biosafety and Biosecurity Program performed the groundbreaking on a new Public Health Complex that will enable Liberian authorities more readily diagnose and conduct research on infectious diseases.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who led the resilient Ebola fight was joined by U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder to officiate the groundbreaking occasion for the new National Public Health Institute/National Reference Laboratory Building. The event concurrently, covers the groundbreaking of the Regional reference Laboratory in Bong County, Central Liberia.

In separate remarks, President Sirleaf and U.S. Ambassador expressed delight over such noble realization which was borne out of the Ebola attack that caused several loss of lives in Liberia and neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Also speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony, the Director General of the National Public Health Institute, Hon. Tolbert G. Nyenswah described the event as an incredible milestone towards preventing, detecting and responding to public health threats in Liberia and globally.

The National Public Health Institute's release said the NPHIL and the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency-Cooperative Biological Engagement program (DTRA-CBEP) are the two lead agencies managing the project. U.S.-based Construction Firm; Prime Contractor CH2M is the implementing partner for the construction of the complex while Liberian-owned Engineers and Planners (AEP) Consultants, is the Architecture Firm designing both projects expected to be completed in April 2019.

NPHIL sources say - when completed, the facilities will give the Government of Liberia a platform to address issues of Biosafety and Biosecurity through the performance of public health research and diagnostics of dangerous pathogens, epidemiology and disease surveillance.

The project reflects the genuine commitment of the Liberian and U.S. governments to pursue the objectives outlined in the Global Health Agenda to ensure improved outcomes for the Liberian people. "Over the course of the next two years, Liberia and U.S. will work together to provide training, equipment and consumables, to further strengthen laboratory testing capabilities in Liberia, which will allow for more rapid detection of dangerous diseases, thereby, enabling quicker disease outbreak response," - release added.

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