Liberia and the United States Break Ground on New Public Health Facility

(Monrovia, October 5, 2017) – Today in Congo Town, Liberia, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and U.S. Department of Defense Biosafety and Biosecurity Program marked the beginning of construction of a new facility which will serve as the headquarters of two new public health facilities that will enhance Liberia’s ability to diagnose and conduct research on infectious diseases.

Her Excellency, President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Christine Elder, spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility, which will be known as the National Public Health Institute of Liberia/National Reference Laboratory (NPHIL/NRL) building.

At the ceremony Ambassador Elder said, “The construction of this building alone won’t achieve the advances and results in health that are urgently needed.  It will take the steadfast commitment of all stakeholders to achieve the principal goal of the Global Health Security Agenda—a world equipped to conquer infectious disease threats.”

The United States Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency-Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (DTRA-CBEP) and Liberia’s NPHIL are leading the development of this landmark project.  Construction activities, led by primary contractor CH2M, will continue through April 2019.  When completed, this facility will increase the capacity of the Government of Liberia to address issues of biosafety and biosecurity through public health research and the diagnostic evaluation of dangerous pathogens.

This project reflects commitments from the U.S. Government and the Government of Liberia to pursue objectives outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda to improve health outcomes, both in Liberia and around the globe.  Over the next two years, Liberia and the United States will work together to conduct training and provide equipment and laboratory items to strengthen laboratory testing capabilities in Liberia to facilitate the rapid detection of infectious disease threats and effective disease outbreak responses.