UNICEF said on Tuesday that more than 30 Liberian health workers, health directors, ministry officials and program staff attended a three-day workshop to test the new World Health Organization/UNICEF handbook on newborn and child care.
The workshop taught health care workers to practice effective health practices, such as kangaroo mother care and umbilical cord care, that they can integrate in their communities in Liberia.
UNICEF Representative Sheldon Yett said skilled and empowered frontline health workers are key to lowering the child mortality rate in Liberia.
"Thirty two children die every day from preventable diseases," Yett said. "These children might have been with us today if they received basic and timely health interventions."
Yett said that more than 12,000 children die in Liberia every year from malnutrition and preventable diseases, such as malaria, acute respiratory illnesses and diarrhea.
Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said the country has developed new programs to fight child mortality.
"We are aware of our challenges and we are not complacent. We are committed to reduce child mortality in the country," Nyenswah said.
UNICEF trained 230 general Community Health Volunteers in 2013 to support and expand community health structures. It will train 315 more gCHVs during the first quarter of 2014.
"The handbook will be very useful for us to train general community health volunteers in new born care at the community level and to disseminate essential nutritional messages among communities for proper growth and development of children," Netus Nowine, the Grand Gedeh county health director, said.