The country office of USAID/Liberia on behalf of President W. Bush Malaria Initiative Program for Africa, yesterday presented to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare over nearly half a million doses of artemisinin- based combination therapy (ACT) drugs to the Ministry of Health for the treatment of malaria in the country.
The Chief of the USAID office in Liberia, Mr. Chris McDermott, presented the drugs to the Minister of Health of Liberia Dr. Walter Gweningale at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The drugs arrived in the country last January 28th, 2008 and are expected to provide the National Malaria Program with 496,000 doses of ACTs, worth $375,000.
Speaking at the Ministry yesterday when he presented the drugs, Mr. McDermott said the amount used on the drugs is the first portion of an expected amount of 36million for President Bush Malaria Initiative for Liberia.
He used the occasion to urge those using the drugs to follow the doses guidelines and go to health clinics and seek consultation when it comes to the proper use of the drugs. He said when used properly, the drugs can save life and treat malaria on the first goal.
According to him, there would be other intervention to strengthen the malaria control program for the country.
For his part, Health Minister Dr. Walter Gweningale commended the United States government through USAID for the donation and described the gesture as a small portion of what the government of the United States has been doing for Liberia.
He said USAID has been supporting other partners like AFRICARE, which has been working with the ministry to strengthen the health sector. He assured the donors that the drugs would be used for the purpose intended.