Liberia is pursuing financial sustainability for its immunization services through legislation and expenditure tracking. The Sabin Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program began its efforts in Liberia in November 2008.
Immunization Program Structure
Liberia’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) is located in the Preventative Services Division, Health Services Department, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare (MOHSW).
Liberia’s Progress to Date
Over the period 2006-2014, Liberia’s Gross National Income rose from US$130 to $370 per capita, a 185% increase. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF), the Liberian government spent $1 on routine immunization per surviving infant in 2006. By 2014, this figure had doubled to $2. In addition, the government share of total routine immunization expenditures rose from 3% to 6% over this period. Since 2010, Liberia has reported inconsistently on JRF financial indicators. The data nonetheless suggest that Liberia has progressed towards country ownership of its immunization program. Among SIF countries, Liberia ranked nineteenth in terms of routine immunization spending per surviving infant in 2014.
In June 2012, Liberian parliamentarians visited Uganda to survey its Parliamentary Network for Immunization. The same MPs formed the Liberian Parliamentary Network for Immunization in March 2013. The Network participates directly in annual national budget negotiations.
In September 2015, House and Senate Health Committees assisted in the FY2016 budgetary preparations.
Chapter II, Article 8 of the 1984 Liberian Constitution states that guaranteeing a healthy citizenry is one of the essential government policy goals. Many current childhood immunization policies stem from the 1956 Public Health Law, which offers several relevant provisions but no immunization financing clauses.
The Parliamentary Network for Immunization and the MOHSW began preparing a draft immunization bill in March 2013. The following June, the completed draft bill was submitted to the senate. In July and October 2013, a few amendments were made following a public vetting process. The Senate approved the bill for passage in May 2014. The bill is under discussion in the House of Representatives.
- October 2015: Liberian counterparts join Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, Kenyan, and Ugandan peers in Sabin-sponsored peer review workshop
- August 2015: Liberian counterparts join Nigerian and Sierra Leonean peers in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- May 2015: Liberian counterparts join Sierra Leonean peers in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- November 2013: Liberian counterparts join Sierra Leonean delegates in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- August 2013: Liberian counterparts attend Sabin-sponsored colloquium
- March 2013: Senior Program Officer organizes MP briefing
- June 2012: Liberian MPs survey Ugandan MP network and immunization bill in Sabin-sponsored study tour
- March 2011: Liberian counterparts attend Sabin-sponsored colloquium
- August 2010: Liberian MOF officer visits Uganda in Sabin-sponsored study tour
- July 2009: Senior Program Officer and EPI co-organize briefing in Margibi county
- November 2008: Senior Program Officer and Program Director introduce SIF program to Liberian government