August 12, 2015 By Alusine Sesay
A leading civil society organisation in Sierra Leone, Health Alert, has called on the government to undertake nationwide popularisation of the just launched post- Ebola Recovery Plan to ensure sustainability, community awareness and ownership.
According to the group, among key findings during an engagement with stakeholders in ten districts across the country, Local Councils and other district stakeholders, including Paramount Chiefs, have limited knowledge about the content of the recovery plan as their involvement in the development of the document was limited to a one day validation.
Also, the organisation says there is an unclear role for Councils, District Health Management Teams (DHMTs), District Ebola Response Coordinators and the District Post-Ebola Coordinators on the implementation and coordination of the plan.
Health Alert says there is a huge communication gap between the central government and local government regarding the plan, and that there is weak coordination among the central government, local councils and DHMTs.
“Concerns were raised by Local Councils about recruitment of 14 coordinators done by the Office of the Chief of Staff to be in charge of the implementation of the recovery plan. The Councils noted that their roles in the post-Ebola Recovery Plan should be made clear by the Office of Chief of Staff,” said the statement by the organisation.
The statement adds that Councils raised concerns about their budgets, which was diverted to the fight against Ebola.
“They were also concerned about the link between the Council Development Funds and the post-Ebola Recovery Funds. The Councils were confused as to which plan (Local Council Health Plans, post-Ebola Recovery Plans and the Sierra Leone Health Recovery and Resilience Plan) they should relate with for health implementation in the months that lie ahead,” the group further states.
The organisation called on the Office of Chief of Staff to strengthen the level of engagement with Civil Society Organisations, traditional authorities and Local Councils on the implementation of the post-Ebola Recovery priorities.