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Liberia: Liberia Health Profile 2012






Liberia Health Profile 2012

Several key health indicators have begun to improve since 2003, but remain unsatisfactory. In particular, infant and under-five mortality rates have reduced significantly. Infant mortality rate dropped from 117 to 72 deaths per 1000 live births, under-five mortality also dropped from 194 to 111 deaths per 1000 live births, while maternal mortality increased from 578/100 000 live births in 2000 to 994/100 000 in 2007. The health information system and other support systems have been revitalized but needs to be strengthened.
Communicable diseases - Malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality followed by diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. The national HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is now 1.5%, a sharp decrease from the 2006 estimated rate of 5.2%. However, ANC sentinel survey indicates HIV/AIDS rate of 5.4%.
Malnutrition is still common affecting mainly women and children; with stunting and wasting in under-five at 39% and 8% respectively.
Noncommunicable disease - While mental health, injuries and disability remain a major health concern, the MOH has developed a national mental health policy and is in the process of developing a national plan. Mental health has been included in the basic package of health services. Also, a national social welfare policy has been developed, and a number of interventions targeted. A national policy and plan on SGBV has been implemented. Maternal mortality is very high at 994 per 100 000 live births; contributing factors include acute shortage of skilled staff, inadequate referral systems, etc. Moreover, less than half (46%) of births are attended by birth professionals.
Infant and under-five mortality rate - have reduced significantly. Infant mortality has declined from 117 to 71 per 1000 live births, while under-five mortality has also declined from 194 to 111 per 1000 live births. This represents a halving of the 1992-1996 infant and under-five mortality rates. Infrastructure - Although sustained severe damage on account of the war, 250 facilities (Including hospitals, health centres and clinics) have either been rehabilitated or reconstructed throughout the country. Infrastructure reconstruction and rehabilitation plan estimate 80% restoration of cold chain facilities during the plan period 2007-2011. Establishment of a reference laboratory is on-going. The Liberian economy is gradually recovering. The economy is expanding rapidly with growth accelerating to over 91% in 2007. Stringent economic measures introduced by government have resulted in marked reduction in both its foreign and domestic debts averaging in 2006 to US$4.5 billion. Poverty is still pervasive with 76% of the population currently living below poverty line surviving on less than US1.00 per day. Food insecurity is still high and is evident in poor nutritional status of the population. An estimated 11% of household in rural/semi-urban parts of the country are food insecure. Partners - While government budgetary support to the health sector has improved from 5.2% in 2005 to 7.7% in 2008, external aid flow has been substantial averaging about 48 to 50% of all funding to the sector.


• Election and constitution of new Government
• Health system operating in partnership with different stakeholders, missions/churches and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
• The MOHSW chairs several Inter-Agency Coordination  Committees (e.g. immunizations, malaria, HIV/AIDS,tuberculosis) as well as the overall coordination meeting of the health sector through the HSCC
• Decentralization of the health system in progress
• Revision of the National Health Policy and development of a national plan
• Continuous donor support to the sector
• Annual review of the national health plan provides opportunity for donor support

• Serious crisis in human resources for health
• High vulnerability of the entire population to communicable diseases
• Inadequate drug procurement and distribution system
• Lack of adequate financial and logistic support for Country Health Teams (CHTs) to perform effectively as
country health service coordinators
• Bad road conditions

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