LIBERIA — The United Nations’ H6 joint mission has wrapped up its visit to Liberia, highlighting the pressing need for immediate action to address the escalating rates of maternal and newborn mortality in the nation.

During their visit, the delegation disclosed that annually, 1,100 women and 8,510 newborns lose their lives during childbirth in Liberia. This alarming statistic underscores the critical need for enhanced healthcare services and improved maternal care practices.

The delegation expressed deep concern over the rising rates of newborn mortality and the staggering number of stillbirths, identifying inadequate quality care during childbirth and antenatal care as contributing factors to these tragic outcomes.

In a briefing session at the Executive Mansion, H.E. President Joseph Boakai emphasized the national significance of the issues raised by the H6 Mission, aligning them with the ARREST agenda.

He pledged the government’s commitment to implementing measures to reverse this trend, stressing the importance of prioritizing the well-being of women and children.

In his speech, Dr. Anshu Banerjee, H6 Mission Team Lead and WHO’s Director of the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health and Ageing in Geneva, underscored the gravity of the situation, emphasizing that no woman should lose her life while giving birth.

Dr. Banerjee outlined targeted strategies to reduce maternal and newborn mortality, including improving healthcare accessibility, reducing financial barriers to healthcare, enhancing health infrastructure, and implementing legal frameworks to combat gender-based violence and harmful practices.

On their part, Liberian lawmakers acknowledged the severity of the crisis and pledged collaboration with the executive branch to address it.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable J. Fonati Koffa, reaffirmed the Legislature’s commitment to supporting the health sector, citing a recent increase in the health budget as evidence of their dedication to building a resilient healthcare system.

The  UN representatives emphasized the need to prioritize investments in the health sector to reduce maternal mortality rates

Dr. Clement Peter, WHO Liberia Representative, stressed the importance of translating recommendations into actionable steps for implementation over the next six years.

Mr. Andy Brookes, UNICEF Representative in Liberia, underscored the urgency of the situation, emphasizing the human impact behind the statistics and the collective commitment to action.

 UNFPA Representative Bidisha Pillai commended key figures, including the First Lady and the Minister of Health, for their dedication to reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality.

She reiterated the UN H6 partners’ commitment to supporting Liberia’s efforts to save lives and achieve healthcare-related national agendas and Sustainable Development Goals.

The H6 joint mission has set ambitious targets to significantly reduce maternal, newborn, and child deaths in Liberia within specific timeframes.

Additionally, they stressed the importance of inter-sectoral coordination and its alignment with the ARREST agenda, emphasizing key areas such as education, sanitation, and infrastructure improvement.

The H6 partnership remains resolute in its commitment to assisting Liberia in achieving its healthcare goals, ensuring the well-being of women and children, and fostering a healthy environment where all individuals can thrive and fulfill their potential.

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