Liberia: U.S. Embassy Official Calls for Urgent Need to Prioritize the Health Sector

Monrovia — With some huge investment by the Government of the United States of America (USA) towards improving the country's health system with support in health education, the Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia has sounded out the urgent need to give priority to strengthening the country's health sector to withstand future health threats.

In retrospect of the Coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Joel F. Maybury is convinced that building resilience in the health sector is of critical importance to battling future outbreaks.

In so doing, the US government official believes that strong leaders, competent clinicians, and innovative entrepreneurs need research information to prepare for and respond to pandemics such as the COVID-19.

The US diplomat spoke Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at the launch of Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation (CTLI), a partnership project of the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences (ULCHS), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Bringing Research to Impact for Development, Global Engagement, and Utilization (BRIDGE-U).

The launch of the CTLI was held at the UL College of Health Sciences in Congo Town on the outskirt of the nation's capital Monrovia.

CTLI is a public-private academic hub for research utilization, inter-professional training, innovation, and knowledge generation in Liberia. The center will deliver faculty development programming; Camp xSEL, an annual science camp for secondary school students; research on utilizing evidence in the health sciences; the Experiential Learning and Assessment Lab (ELAB), a clinical simulation center at John F. Kennedy Medical Center; an evidence-based decision-making course for current policymakers; and innovation and entrepreneurship trainings, mentorship, and venture incubation.

Accordingly, the US official expressed great delight over the manner and form in which the U.S. government's assistance is improving health outcomes for Liberians.

He indicated that the launch of the CTLI is another great achievement that marks the long-standing partnership between the US and Liberian governments, especially in the health sector.

"The CTLI will serve as a gateway to modern health education technology for the next generation of essential health workers - doctors, nurses, administrators, and faculty. Most importantly, the CTLI will be a source of research information for entrepreneurs who are expected to improve their business initiatives using research-based evidence," stated the US envoy.

"The U.S. government is proud of the many ways in which our assistance improves health outcomes for the Liberian people," he noted.

"Strengthening the health workforce is a priority for every country, and as we've seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no time to waste. Strong leaders, competent clinicians, and innovative entrepreneurs need research information to prepare for and respond to pandemics such as the COVID-19. I am impressed with your innovative and strategic vision to establish the CTLI which serves this purpose. In continuation of our strong partnership and collaboration, I am pleased to announce that the CTLI is officially launched!" he added as he formally launched the center.

Rev. Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, President of UL, is upbeat that CTLI and all related programs will be very transformational for our faculty and students.

With excitement, Dr. Nelson explained that the center will serve as a hub for collaborative training and innovation with the larger community, including clinicians, policymakers, and entrepreneurs.

"Universities are a part of the fabric of the community, and it is our privilege and mission to promote lifelong learning and research in partnership with our neighboring institutions and colleagues," asserted the UL President.

"I am excited because the opening of the CTLI is a momentous occasion, which builds on years of progress at the College of Health Science, and ushering in a new era for high quality and professional health education," he noted with great depth of gratitude to the US government.

Dr. Nelson furthered that the Administration of UL will continue to work with partners at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), and elsewhere, to make sure that students are provided with well-equipped faculties and quality supervision and mentorship.

"We are proud to be associated with the training of our future generations of Liberia's health workforce which include the clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and even future faculty members who will keep us all safe and healthy. It is our duty to provide a comprehensive and enriching educational experience that prepares these students to be the leaders and change makers of the future, and we are so grateful for the support or our many partners and everyone here today," he intoned.

"Let me close by urging us all to continue working together as we continue to develop the health workforce of our beloved country, and reduce the patient to health worker ratio far lower than what it is now," the UL President urged amid cheers from the audience.

Dr. Bernice T. Dahn, Vice President for Health Sciences at the state-run University of Liberia in a power point presentation explained that CLTI is part of the transformational activities undertaken by the ULCHS with support from the US government through USAID.

According to her, the project is a national public-private-academic hub for training and collaboration throughout Liberia's health sector, supported by institutionalized revenue generation activities and administrative systems.

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