Monrovia, Thursday, April 23, 2015: The Regional Director of the World Health Organization, Dr. Masthidiso Moeti has attributed Liberia's success in the ongoing Ebola fight to an excellent and strong partnership between the people and the government. Dr. Moeti said the strong reaction shown by the ordinary people in the face of the epidemic and the actions taken by the political leadership have been exemplary and a model for other countries to follow in future outbreak.
Dr. Moeti commended President Sirleaf for her exemplary leadership to the people of Liberia and the Mano River Region in responding to the Ebola outbreak. The WHO Regional Director, stressed that WHO has found the action of President Sirleaf inspirational and believe that it is due to her leadership, the actions of her team of Ministers, and other officials as well as the community response and adoption to the preventive methods that were able to contain the outbreak.
Speaking at a Press Stake-out at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, Dr. Moeti elaborated that WHO has played a very important role in surveillance, contact tracing, data management for action and also supporting community dialogue and social mobilization in other to help the community understand what was needed to be done. Dr. Moeti stressed that in Liberia's transitional point, WHO is committed and dedicated to supporting the country's investment plan to build a resilient health system and to advocate for support to the plan.
"WHO recognized the challenges of ineffective human resources and the human capacity available to implement such a plan. If the international community remains committed to financially aiding Liberia, the country will have equitable ways to deliver health services", Dr. Moeti noted.
As Liberia stands to be declared ebola free on May 9, 2015, if no new cases are reported, Dr. Moeti assured that WHO will continue to work with Liberia in making sure the ebola virus does not come through the borders by ensuring secure borders screening, and borders collaboration.
Speaking earlier at the press stake-out, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the Government and people of Liberia, thanked Madam Matshidiso Moeti for the high-level solidarity visit to Liberia to assess the impact of the WHO contributions to the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease that has taken a huge toll on the lives of citizens of Liberia and other countries of the Mano River basin.
Minister Ngafuan also congratulated Dr. Moeti, a native of the sisterly Republic of Botswana on her election in November 2014 as WHO’s first female Regional Director for Africa.
"WHO is the most significant partner to Liberia and other hardest hit countries in the sub-region in the fight against Ebola. As a matter of fact WHO's partnership with Liberia predates the Ebola crisis. In the pre-Ebola period, WHO provided technical assistance for health system strengthening, supported Maternal and Child Health as well as disease prevention and control", noted Minister Ngafuan.
Minister Ngafuan emphasized that as Liberia is again counting another round of 42 days after which we expect WHO to declare Liberia an Ebola free country just as it did for other countries in the region that have successfully met the 42-day no new case requirement, Liberia is not relaxing its guard, and believe that with God above, Liberia will surely reach this May 9, 2015 target date when hopefully Liberia would be declared Ebola free by WHO.
Foreign Minister Minister Ngafuan added that the government of Liberia shares a view that as a woman and a public health veteran, Dr. Moeti has the necessary credentials to deliver on her aims and objectives at WHO. Liberia and Botswana, the home country of Dr. Moeti have very strong bilateral relations as evidence of the exchange of state visits by both countries president.
Before the press stake out, the WHO Regional Director met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other government officials including Foreign Minister Ngafuan, outgoing Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale and incoming Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn. President Sirleaf warmly welcomed Dr. Moeti to Liberia and extended gratitude through her to Secretary General of the UN, and the Director General of WHO as well as the entire UN system for the invaluable support rendered to the government of Liberia and other hard hit ebola countries for the fight against ebola.