Thursday, June 20, 2024

Liberia: Several Liberians Benefit From USAID-Funded Health Entrepreneurship Training Program

Monrovia — Several individuals have completed the first cohort of the Creation program, the Entrepreneurship Advancement Leveraging Research program (HEALR).

The program is meant to celebrate the latest milestones in the health sector. It’s a USAID program. USAID provided 50k for the winners of the program. The aim is to strengthen the health board and the primary objective is to strengthen the health sector.

Dr. Plenseh Paye McCain, the Deputy Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation (CTLI) speaking at the event Tuesday said she was grateful that her team is celebrating the latest milestone of the Health Entrepreneurship Advancement Leveraging Research program.

Dr. McCain added: “We are delighted to celebrate the first cohort of the Creation program with this closing ceremony, awards, and dinner.”

The Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship activity is part of the USAID-funded Bridge-U: “Applying Research for a Healthy Liberia” project at the University Of Liberia College Of Health Sciences.

CTLI Deputy Director added: “Around this time last year, Bridge-U supported ULCHS to launch the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation. This Center houses various programs that enrich academic activities at the college, to strengthen the health workforce pipeline and ultimately the health system.”

Madam McCain added: “These programs range from faculty development and research projects to clinical simulation education and the activity that brings us

here today: health innovation and entrepreneurship.”

The primary objective of this activity is to instruct and mentor aspiring health entrepreneurs, and help them launch new products and services that will improve the health of Liberians, she said.

Dr. McCain added: “To achieve this objective, we introduced the HEALR program, which consists of three phases: three-month-long ideation, six-month-long creation, and yearlong implementation.”

She added: “The participants were eager to learn. Thanks to the judges for taking up the time to select the participants.”

Also in attendance was Emily Sheldon of the African Health Innovation Center. She praised the participants for their commitment to the program.

“Every single day, you have shown commitment and dedication. You made a real change in the lives of your family and the community. We are so inspired by your commitment to solving problems,” Sheldon.

Jenna Nickerson, CIMIT Team member told the participants: “We have enjoyed working with you in the last six months. You have a real opportunity ahead of you and use it wisely. Each team shows different strengths and it is such an opportunity for them. They came up with an idea of what they wanted and they printed pictures of what they wanted to do.”

Also, former Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn praised the participants for changing the narrative in the health sector.

“In the health sector in Liberia, we are business oriented. It is a notion that once you have graduated you want to work. Even when we do business it is just a small one and the job is the bigger one and if we did not get paid then we go on strike but I want to say thank you for your service and continue your good work,” Dr. Dahn added.

Leelah J. Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of Leo Nutrition and 1st Place Prize Winner of the program said with the knowledge and funds provided, they are poised to compete with anyone on the market.

“Before starting this program, I had ideas but compared to knowledge gains now. However, I want to appreciate Mr. Dennis for pushing me very hard and today I want to thank everyone,” Clarke who won the prize of US$20,00 said.