Kofi Woods Ready For Gov’t

first_imgAtty. Woods wants the country’s forest remain preserved.Human Rights activist, Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods, has challenged the Liberian government to do what is right, or else “take me to a court of competent jurisdiction to answer for my stewardship.”Atty. Woods’ challenge was contained in a statement he issued yesterday as a rejoinder to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s recent assertion, insinuating that he must take responsibility for any wrongs at the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) during his tenure.The former Minister of Public Works recently urged President Sirleaf to take responsibility for National Oil Company of Liberia’s (NOCAL) woes, which has plunged NOCAL into financial crisis.“I fully agree and commend President Sirleaf for her response to my recent comments on NOCAL intimating that “she takes responsibility for what happens in all ministries and agencies of her government, “and I should take full responsibility for what happened at the MPW during my tenure, even if I was not directly involved,” Woods noted.Woods said he has not, and would not shy away from any wrong that he may have done as Minister of Public Works.“I have repeatedly said both in public and in private, and in my various communications to the President that I stand ready for any scrutiny. I implore and challenge the government to do what is right and take me to a court of competent jurisdiction to answer for my stewardship,” Woods said in a strongly-worded defensive statement.He, however, expressed gratitude that Liberia is reaching the point where Liberians can collectively end impunity and ensure that the government accounts to the people for her stewardship, both past and present.For him, he said Liberia appears to be ushering into the age of accountability.In his recent comment, Woods urged the Liberian government to ensure that all public officials – past (he included) and present —submit to similar (accountability) processes without discrimination.He believes that the failure of the government to exhaust the process of accountability is a neglect of its duty, which encourages impunity and subject individuals in government to collective guilt.“I will not be perturbed. Liberians will seek justice and demand what is right! No smear campaign will stand the test of me as I maintain my position on NOCAL,” Woods vowed.The President, in her recent address to the nation, announced that the head of NOCAL will be honorably retired and severance benefits paid out.To that assertion, Atty. Woods disagrees, believing that a full management audit must be conducted in the NOCAL saga to include financial, procurement amongst others.He said Liberians need to know why a once potentially viable entity such as NOCAL has so spectacularly collapsed.“The response, in the immediate aftermath of what appears to be the latest evidence of the inescapable failure of a national asset is inadequate, is limited, is insufficient and is disconcerting, if not out-rightly disingenuous.”When the President openly vindicates rather than demand accountability, she sends the wrong signal to a public, which now views our government’s actions with much consternation and deep mistrust,” Atty. Woods, who was once a Labor Minister asserted.He said information on the situation at NOCAL was well known to the Administration of President Sirleaf a long time ago, “but the President chose to look the other way and do nothing.”“The full scale of the consequences of NOCAL’s decline,” he said, “must not be lost but it must be brought to the full view of the public and responsibility taken to address collateral damage to innocent citizens and institutions.”He stressed the need for Liberians to ensure that students benefitting from NOCAL’s scholarship programs are given special consideration.“We need to deal with our national human resource deficit and therefore cannot afford to let them become victims of this (embarrassment),” the rights activist noted.“I therefore, propose that the recommendation on severance and retirement payment be suspended until a full report on NOCAL is submitted to the nation through an independent process. The Board bears equal responsibility and therefore may not be the competent authority to conduct a house cleaning exercise.”He added that accountability institutions in Liberia, including the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC), the General Auditing Commission (GAC), and the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) should take the lead, move in immediately and act consistently with their respective mandates to bring the ongoing situation at NOCAL to its logical conclusion.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Preventing Disrespect and Abuse by Investing in Health Providers

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 15, 2014November 2, 2016By: Kathleen McDonald, Senior Program Manager, Maternal Health Task Force, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of our “Supporting the Human in Human Resources” blog series co-hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and Jacaranda Health.Many women experience disrespect and abuse (D&A) during facility-based childbirth, emerging evidence shows. In a moment of acute vulnerability, women face undignified care at the hands of a health care provider. This element of quality has far reaching consequences for facility-based delivery, often attributed to good maternal health outcomes. A recent study from Ethiopia cites cultural sensitivity of providers as one of the main barriers to mothers seeking skilled birth attendance in health care facilities. In Tanzania, provider attitudes have been shown to be one of the strongest predictors of where a woman decides to deliver her child; a woman will even bypass facilities near her home in search of more respectful care.As part of the Lancet’s Midwifery series, Freedman and Kruk contend that D&A and women-centered care constitute a “blind spot” in the current model of providing maternal health services. Further, they argue, “D&A is a signal of a health system in crisis—a crisis of quality and accountability. At the most fundamental level, a health system that tolerates D&A devalues women, which itself is an underlying cause of slow progress on reduction of maternal mortality. Moreover, D&A represents a breakdown in accountability of the health system not only to its users but also to the women and men it employs as service providers.”To build people-centered health care systems, respect and dignity, this “human element,” should extend to the rights and needs of those providing care. This includes not only adequate physical infrastructure, but also sufficient emotional support and adequate training for health providers in order to promote quality care and prevent provider demoralization.One training program that attempts to facilitate respectful care through empowering the health workforce is the Health Workers for Change curriculum. The goals of the Health Workers for Change (HWFC) workshop curriculum are to lead providers through the process of examining their views about their patients, develop a better understanding of their patients’ backgrounds and constraints, and empower them to seek and make changes in their working environment to make it a more respectful place to work. Further, the workshop assists health workers to identify avenues for improved job satisfaction, which can help lead to better provider-client interactions.The curriculum is designed in six modules that take place over several weeks. The modules and their respective objectives are:Why I am a health worker: To examine the reasons why people become health workers, and how these reasons influence their relationship with women clients,How do our clients see us?: To investigate health workers’ ideas about how their clients see them, and how this influences their relationship with women clients,Women’s status in society: To explore health workers’ understanding of the most important factors that influence the degree of control that women have over their day-to-day lives and the decisions that they make about themselves, their families and their homes,Unmet needs: To explore needs women have related to health that are often ignored, and to identify possible solutions,Overcoming obstacles at work: To find out what problems health workers have at workand how these problems affect relationships with women clients,Solutions: To draw together what has been learned at the previous sessions and conclude by developing an action plan on what can be done to improve quality of care.In an evaluation of HWFC curriculum implementation in Zambia, Senegal, Mozambique and Uganda, it was found that the curriculum was generalizable enough to cross multiple health settings and language barriers. The workshops allowed health care providers to recognize areas of stress in their daily work, both structural (e.g. lack of commodities) and interpersonal (e.g. harsh attitudes), which affect the quality of care for their clients. It also afforded providers the opportunity to discuss and acknowledge areas for change to provide more respectful care that were within their locus of control. However, all providers noted that additional health system support was critical to ensure better quality of care.Respectful care is a principle that is essential to both demand- and supply-side maternal health programming. Championing health workers and supporting their ability to work effectively is a fundamental component to this process. Only when respect and dignity pervade maternal health efforts will the highest level of quality be achieved.Share this:last_img read more