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National Policy and Strategic Plan on Health Promotion 2016 - 2021

Republic of Liberia; World Health Organization; Healthy Life MOH, Dr. Bernice T. Dahn, Minister of Health; Mrs. Yah Zolia, Deputy Minister of Health-Planning, Research and Development; Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, Deputy Minister of Health- Disease Surveillance and Epidemic Control; and Dr. Sampson Arzoaquoi, Assistant Mi Country Resources, WHO Resources General Health Policies, General Health Strategies and Plans Liberia 2016 Policy document advocacy, capacity development, health promotion

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Description

Health promotion seeks to enable individuals, families and communities to take control of their health and thereby improve and maintain health outcomes. The focus goes beyond the traditional primary and secondary preventive programs. The Government of Liberia is a signatory to the Health Promotion Strategy for the African Region 2013 and has demonstrated commitment to the promotion of health. Significant gains in improving the health status of its people, specifically maternal and child health (LDHS, 2013) have been registered since the end of civil war. Unfortunately, these gains were reversed by the outbreak of the EVD of 2014 and 2015. The use of multiple health promotion strategies largely contributed to the break in transmission of the EVD outbreak.
The country is still threatened by communicable, non-communicable diseases (NCD), Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and other emerging and re-emerging diseases. Another major setback is the limited number of skilled and non-skilled health professionals engaged in health service delivery, specifically health promotion. Furthermore, there has been significant reliance on information dissemination to create awareness instead of strategies, sociocultural and behavioral change interventions. Such challenges are compounded by inadequate resources for health promotion activities across the spectrum of health interventions.

This National Policy and Strategic Plan on Health Promotion (NPSPHP) 2016 has therefore been revised to guide effective health promotion implementation. The NPHPSP is aligned with existing key strategic documents produced by the government that clearly articulates its position in building a resilient health system. The NPHPSP recognises health as a fundamental human right and sound social investment. It has seven thematic areas namely: 1.Strengthening the leadership/stewardship for coordination and management of health promotion; 2. Strengthening Human Resources Capacity for health promotion; 3. Creating supportive environments conducive to health; 4. Strengthening community actions for health; 5. Fortifying research and evidence-based health promotion interventions; 6. Establishing risk communication strategies for epidemics and priority public health conditions and 7. Instituting health promotion financing.

The strategic plan highlights key strategic actions for implementing the NPHPSP and addressing current public health conditions as well as future emergencies. The Government/MOH shall identify and secure funding from both local and international partners for priority health promotion programs. The NHPD/MOH will collaborate with health partners implementing health promotion interventions to ensure alignment with the health promotion strategic plan. The policy emphasises the need for multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder collaboration in promotion of health in Liberia. The NHPD/MOH is the coordination body and roles and responsibilities of other sectors are well defined.
The strategic plan will be operationalized and monitored through the annual operational plans. Regular supportive supervision, monitoring and evaluation of health promotion activities at different levels will be provided throughout the implementation phase of the policy. A mid-term review of the strategic plan will be conducted in 2018 to assess progress towards achieving the set goals and objectives. Data generated from monitoring and evaluation efforts will provide evidence for tracking progress towards achievement of the policy objectives. In 2020, a final evaluation of the strategic plan will be conducted, and a new one developed within the context of the country plan strategic direction.

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