Liberia has an infant mortality rate of 61 per 1,000 live births (2010-2015) according to the UN. The 2013 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey placed maternal mortality rate at 1,072 deaths per 100,000 live births. These challenges can be minimised by increasing the access of affordable healthcare services to people in poverty, especially in rural, hard-to-reach areas.
We started our health programme in Liberia to focus on the prevention and control of malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, reproductive and maternal health of women and adolescents, as well as reducing infant and under-five mortality. We are increasing accessibility to health services by taking healthcare to the doorsteps of the people in the communities.
We identify and train women from the communities to become community health promoters. The health promoters reach out to community members in both accessible and inaccessible areas. They conduct daily household visits and are the central point of contact for health concerns in their communities. They earn a small income from selling healthcare products such as oral rehydration solution, sanitary napkins, hygienic soap, water purification tablets, insecticide-treated mosquito nets and some over-the-counter drugs, such as paracetamol, antihistamines and antacids.