A Liberian health-care professional, Morrison Tamba, has expressed disappointment in the Liberian Government for not living up to the Abuja Declaration. In July 2001, African Heads of State met in Abuja, Nigeria and signed a declaration, committing 15 percent of their national budget to the health sector.
Up to date, statistics show the budget of the Liberian Government for the health sector is yet to reach 15 percent. Addressing health workers in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County last weekend in observance of Liberian National Physician Assistant Association Day, Pharmacist Tamba said it was important for the government to prioritize the health sector in order to effectively respond to the health needs of the population.
Following years of a catastrophic civil war, the Government of Liberia, along with partners, put in place a number of initiatives for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the health sector that was completely ravished. Paramount among these efforts was the development of a ten-year National Health and Social Welfare Policy and Plan, along with an essential package of health services.
Speaking on the theme, “The Role of Physician Assistants (PAs) in Building a Resilient Health Care Delivery Program in Liberia, Tamba said, PA’s have a critical role to play in the actualization of this plan.
“Physician Assistants should rise above in keeping with ethical principles and professional standards to ensure that her professional work force is up to the task by performing the duty as inscribed in the job description,” Tamba said, noting “LINPAA should ensure that no person infiltrates and falsifies PA credentials to practice as Physician Assistant when a proper and vigorous scrutiny is not carried out in keeping with the board’s regulation. LINPAA should continuously ensure that PAs are annually licensed while in active practice so as to meet up international standard”.
Tamba admonished LINPAA to ensur that data base for every PA is strengthened and at the same time also ensure that effective monitoring and evaluation of its work force to meet with current global reality.
While commenting on the welfare of health care practitioners, Tamba said it was disheartening to note that several health facilities in the country lack save drinking water and other necessities. “Out of the total of 656 health facilities in the country, 13% do not have access to safe drinking water. 43% of our facilities has no functional incinerators, while 45% lack access to primary source of emergency lightening”, the Pharmacist disclosed. In an interview with Journalists minutes after the program, the President of the association, Theophilus Hampaye, showered praises on members for their dedication to service. “No matter how far you are, you remain committed to the call for duty.
Since the establishment of our noble association our predecessors fought for, you continue to deny yourself pleasure and social affiliations, making sure that our association retains its status in society. Their commitment and enthusiasms remain a great force in the progress of this association and I am very proud of that,” Mr. Hampaye indicated.
He also commended PAs in the country for their involvement in the eradication of the Ebola virus disease. While stressing the need for unity, the association president further called on members to avoid divisive politics. Liberian National Physician Assistant Association Day is an annual event that assembles Physician Assistants to discuss issues of interest to them.