Liberia’s First Lady Clar Marie Weah has underscored the severity of malaria disease, especially on pregnant women and children in Liberia, urging international partners to support her country’s fight against the menace.
Mrs. Weah wants international partners to support the Liberian government in its prevention and treatment programs as malaria remains a leading cause of death and frequent visit to health facility in the country.
“One of the major issues that confronts and hinders Intermittent Preventive Treatment uptake in Liberia is the frequent stockout of drugs, and this is serious,” Mrs. Weah asserted.
“As such, I herewith make a passionate plea to our partners that supply IPTp to kindly, with a touch of urgency to work with us to address the stockout challenge. This also creates a unique opportunity for strengthening Africa’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector to scale up production of IPTp so that their supplies, as well as that of many essential drugs in Africa are secured.”
The Liberian First Lady made the assertion Wednesday, September 20, 2023, when she addressed the “Speed Up, Scale Up Intermittent Preventive Treatment Campaign on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America.
The Speed Up, Scale Up IPTp Campaign was initiated in 2022 by the Malaria in Pregnancy Working Group of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria as part of efforts to increase access to Intermittent Preventive Treatment for pregnant women.
Over 1000 people including more than 300 signatures from organizations in Africa and more than 700 signatures from another 43 countries have signed a letter under the umbrella of the campaign calling on decision makers to provide all eligible pregnant women with the malaria preventive treatment they need.
Mrs. Weah has endorsed the Speed UP, Scale up Intermittent Preventive Treatment Campaign on grounds that the initiative would protect pregnant women and their unborn children from malaria, something that is closed to my heart.
As a champion for maternal and child health in Liberia, the First Lady disclosed efforts through her foundation, Clar Hope Foundation (CHF) in working with local and international partners to ensure that women and children are healthy and fully empowered to have a prosperous life.
As part of its future plans, Mrs. Weah disclosed, CHF intends to construct a State-of-the-art Mother & Child Hospital to further strengthen the fight to eradicate infant and maternal mortality.
Mrs. Weah, however, praised the efforts of local and international partners for their support over the years which has yielded significant gains in Liberia’s first to eradicate malaria.
“Because I am quite passionate about the prevention, treatment and eradication of Malaria in Liberia and across the continent of Africa, I am pleased to say that together with trusted partners such as the US President’s Malaria Initiative, JHPIEGO, The World Bank and others, Liberia’s coverage of IPTp3 more than doubled from 25 percent in 2018 to 56 percent in 2021,” said Mrs. Weah.
Despite the progress, the Liberian First Lady noted that her husband, President George Manneh Weah and his government remain committed to doubling its efforts with the fight against malaria with all hands-on deck.