Home Opinion Featured Articles The state of healthcare infrastructure in Liberia, challenges and opportunities for improvement

The state of healthcare infrastructure in Liberia, challenges and opportunities for improvement

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By: Evangelyn B. Kollie

The civil war that raged in Liberia from 1989 to 2003 led to the destruction of 95% of Liberia’s health infrastructures. Though there have been strides in rebuilding healthcare infrastructure after the war, challenges persist. Liberia’s healthcare is characterized by dual reality and the need for improvement is evident. This paper intends to examine the current state of healthcare infrastructure, identifying key challenges and presenting opportunities for transformative change.  

In 2003, right after the civil war, the country could only boast of 51 operational healthcare, and only 10% of the population was thought to have access to the facility. According to data from the 2008 National Population and Housing Census, 41% of households had to travel an hour or more to get to the closest healthcare facility. Many times, they lose their lives while encountering circumstances in accessing healthcare facilities. Moreover, a disturbing number was found in the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) 2021 Health Information System (HIS) report: out of 48,588 hospital admissions, only 257 people (0.5%) had access to facility-based emergency or critical care. However, the government has only allocated $74.27 million of its total Fiscal Year 2023 budget for the health sector, with 98.03 percent of the total made up of salaries, goods, and services. 

Despite these challenges, the Government of Liberia along with its international partners has made significant progress in rebuilding Liberia’s healthcare infrastructure to meet the healthcare needs of the Liberian population. To support Liberia’s investment plan in health, Welthungerhilfe, with funding from the German Development Bank (KFW) has rehabilitated and is also constructing several healthcare facilities in rural Liberia. Some of these health facilities include the Grand Gedeh County Hospital, Roselyn Toe Massaquoi Health Center (Sinoe County), Rivercess Districts Referral Hospital (Rivercess County), Kwitatuzon PH2 and the Rally Town Hospital in Grand Kru County, and the Fish Town Hospital in River Gee County. 

Though there have been some positive gains in decentralizing healthcare infrastructure in the rural areas of Liberia, these facilities lack the necessary finance needed to provide adequate healthcare delivery to enhance sustainability. Liberia needs to increase its budgetary allocation and reduce aid dependency which is not sustainable. Moreover, the Government of Liberia needs to equip existing healthcare facilities with modern healthcare equipment, train medical professionals, increase its infrastructural decentralization program in the most remote areas of the country, and make healthcare services affordable and accessible in rural communities. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. This write-up presents the actualities of our healthcare system. Hope key actors can take necessary recommendations it presents.

    Thanks for the insightful paper Evangelyn

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