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(New York 26th September, 2015), President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has emphasized the importance of water and sanitation as key components to a successful healthcare system and emphasized the Government’s commitment to ensuring their full integration into the country’s healthcare delivery system.
President Sirleaf spoke Saturday, September 26, at an event jointly hosted by the Global Health Council and WaterAid on the margin of the United Nations General Assembly, held at the 101 Park Avenue in New York. She observed that before the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus, water and sanitation had been given subtle attention in most African countries including Liberia while focusing on other development priorities. Soon, it became apparent that if we are to move forward in rebuilding our healthcare systems, we must pay special attention to water and sanitation. She stressed.
Specifically, the Liberian leader identified the problems of water and sanitation as major impediments for health workers and contributing factors in spreading the Ebola Virus in some parts of Liberia. She acknowledged that it became difficult to readily appreciate the strange nature of the disease for which there was no proper method for prevention let alone cure. “When the Ebola struck, it shook everything out of us. Water and sanitation became a problem” She explained.
Sharing the Liberia’s experience in combating the Ebola Virus, President Sileaf underscored the need for community involvement in training and sharing of knowledge on how to follow proper sanitation procedures during any major epidemic of such magnitude. She then Expressed optimism that the new global initiative, 2030 provides a window of opportunity for addressing water and sanitation problems globally, and assured that she will remain fully engaged in championing the cause of water and sanitation which have received low attention among development priorities in most parts of the world especially Africa.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has expressed appreciation to the organizers of the event and encouraged them to join the efforts in promoting the new global Agenda for the benefit of humanity.
For her part, Princes Sarah Zaid of Jordan expressed regret that lives were being lost daily in most developing countries due to lack of water and proper sanitation. She said 40% of health care centers in countries where she has worked with in recent time, have no access to portable water and sanitation, situations she attributed to the causes of diseases and deaths. She then urged for global action in addressing the problems.
Written by Abu Kamara
Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs
Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations