Sister Barbara: "My message about this issue is about a holistic approach."
Sister Barbara Brillant, Dean of Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (MPCHS), has called on policymakers to help the authorities at the Ministry of Health (MoH) to combat maternal mortality.
Maternal death or maternal mortality, according to WHO, is a death of a woman, while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.
Sis. Barbara (as she is popularly known) said Liberians cannot continue to depend on international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) for help all the time, "because the country has the intelligence and the commitment to do those things on her own to improve the health sector."
She made the comments on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at the beginning of a two-day national health fair program in Monrovia.
The program, which was held under the theme, "Accelerating Maternal and New Born-health; Stop Baby and Mama from Dying," was organized by the MoH through its national health promotion division with support from international partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Plan International.
"Whether a nurse, pharmacist or a midwife, we are supposed to do what is right to save our patients, because everyone is important in the health sector," Sister Barbara said.
She then recommended for the government to introduce life skills teaching in high schools, so as to enable school-going girls choose make better choices, especially in terms of their sexual and reproductive health.
Liberia's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, urged development partners to allow Liberians take the lead in tackling maternal and neonatal deaths across the country.
Dr. Kateh said Liberian nurses are knowledgeable of how to prevent women from dying while giving birth, but again called on development partners to allow Liberians take the driver's seat in the health sector.
Kateh recalled that the successful defeat of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) from Liberia was a clear manifestation of how Liberians overcame the challenges.