Liberia is pursuing financial sustainability for its immunization services through legislation and expenditure tracking. Sabin’s Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program worked with officials in Liberia from 2008 to 2016.
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).
Over the period 2006-2014, Liberia’s Gross National Income rose from US$130 to $370 per capita, a 185 percent 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 percent to 6 percent 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 20th in terms of routine immunization spending per surviving infant in 2016.
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, Network members briefed House and Senate Health Committee members on immunization during 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, April 2016: Liberian counterparts join Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, Kenyan, and Ugandan peers in Sabin-sponsored peer review workshops
- August 2015: Liberian counterparts join Nigerian and Sierra Leonean peers in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- November 2013, May 2015: Liberian counterparts join Sierra Leonean peers in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange workshop
- March 2013: Sabin Senior Program Officer organizes MP briefing
- June 2012: Liberian MP and MOHSW counterpart survey Ugandan MP network and immunization bill in Sabin-sponsored peer exchange to Uganda
- August 2010: Liberian Ministry of Finance officer visits Uganda in Sabin-sponsored study tour
- July 2009: Sabin Senior Program Officer and EPI counterparts co-organize briefing in Margibi county
- November 2008: Sabin Senior Program Officer and SIF Program Director introduce SIF program to Liberian government
Last Updated July 11, 2016