According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf thanked the WAHO Director General for the visit and congratulated him for his preferment as head of WAHO. She informed Dr. Crespin that it will be important for National Health Plans of West African countries to be aligned with all regional and international plans concerning the health sector.
President Sirleaf acknowledged that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is taking off in the region and pointed out that Liberia is concluding the legal processes for the establishment of a National Public Institute of Health to focus on disease control and research.
She told the WAHO boss that Liberia was proud to be committing 12% of its National Budget to the health sector, just 3% below the standard requirement of at least 15% despite the many challenges faced by the country.
President Sirleaf praised WAHO and its leadership for doing a great job thus far and committed her leadership to working with WAHO and the rest of the international community in tackling global health issues.
For his part, the Director General of the West African Health Organization lauded President Sirleaf for receiving his delegation and extended congratulation for her preferment as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government.
He informed the Liberian leader that WAHO has been working on several issues concerning disease control and epidemic; regional rapid intervention mechanisms; medicines and vaccines; human health development and others as key program priorities.
“We are committed to working with the Liberian health officials and the health sector of all of the co0untries of the region. We are currently working on budgeting for the construction of regional health institutions between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as regional hospitals to strengthen laboratory capacity”, Dr. Crespin pointed out.
Dr. Crespin also briefed President Sirleaf a pending High-level meeting expected to be held in Liberia, indicating that it is still in the planning stage. The meeting will review partner/donors pledges, commitments and interventions in the health sector to the region.
Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Marjon Kamara, Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn and other senior Liberian officials participated on Thursday’s meeting along with the President.