Ministry of Education And Ministry of Health Sign A Joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) In Support Of The School-Based Vaccination Including Pediatric Pfizer Vaccine.

Ministry of Education And Ministry of Health Sign A Joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) In Support Of  The School-Based Vaccination Including Pediatric Pfizer Vaccine.

(January 27, 2023, Monrovia-Liberia)- In an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 across the Country, the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, signed a joint memorandum of understanding in support of School-Based Vaccination including Pediatric Pfizer Vaccine.

The vaccination process which is expected to target ages 5 – 11, is aimed at strengthening healthcare mechanism, mitigating health challenges, improving healthy environment for students, reducing health risk in schools, promoting good healthcare services and ensuring safety at various Private and Public schools across the Country.

According to the MoU which was read by the Minister of Education, Prof. Dr. D. Ansu Sonii, Sr., consistent with the vision of the Government of Liberia and Partners in similar regard to achieve high uptake of a safe and effective vaccine to control the spread of Covid-19, being a public health priority.

The Government through the Incident Management System (IMS) and the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education with support from USAID through UNICEF has developed a strategy to support the implementation of a piloted School-Based vaccination including Pediatric Pfizer vaccine program beginning with 3 Counties: Bong, Montserrado, and Grand Bassa.

In furtherance of the MoU, the Education Boss indicated, schools are consistently a large part of the daily life for many children and teachers and are therefore uniquely positioned to teach, link, or even aid in the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.

He, however, said, a National multisectoral/stakeholders committee and the Education in Emergency Working Committee have been setup to ensure that all Government led multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms, in this regards, are functional at all levels to ensure that government counterparts, partners and stakeholders effectively carry out their functions and responsibilities as may be required, with the objective of proving a safe learning environment for studies of all age groups in the Republic of Liberia.

Adding, Minister Sonii informed and encouraged parents and caregivers of children ages 5-11 years, as well as the public, to cooperate with school administrators and health care workers in allowing their children to be vaccinated.

For her part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah lauded the President, health team, the Public, Schools’ administrators, students and partners for the level of support towards the drastic reduction in the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking, Minister Jallah said, the involvement of everyone has made a huge difference in mitigating the widespread of the deadly corona virus which has claimed lives of many persons across the Globe.

Additionally, she acknowledged the tireless efforts of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the Director of the General Services Agency (GSA), Madam Mary T. Broh, for their continuous contributions to the health sector.

Moreover, in a brief remark, the Representative of UNICEF-Liberia, Dr. Linda Akondeny, congratulated the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, the Government, Partners, and the people of Liberia for this important milestone and for reaching the admirable coverage of 81% and being the first African Country to have reached the initial global set target.

According to Dr. Akondeny, the Government is Commended for the steps taken to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 noting that, the adult vaccination programme including older children and now the pediatric vaccination programmes and health centers will have the opportunity to strengthen the protection against Covid-19 for Liberia.

Adding, the special representative of UNICEF said, the signing of the MoU marks a monumental day in Liberia and is of great importance to the work of the Government and UNICEF in protecting the rights of every child. “Access to health and Education services and protection against the vaccine preventable is centered in our efforts to ensure a healthy future for girls and boys of Liberia”.

We all are aware of how critical in-person learning is to the mental health and well-being of our children and youth”, she said.Lastly, Dr. Akondeny disclosed UNICEF’s commitment to work with the Government in meeting the unique challenges presented by Covid-19 and support school-based learning as the initial quantity of 76,800 doses are already available to start targeting school-based children between 5 and 11.

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