August 29, 2018
By Yusufu S. Bangura
Focus 1000 has yesterday held a National strategy workshop to sustain community engagement for improved health outcomes for women and children in Sierra Leone.
The workshop took place at Charms Beach hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.
Speaking during the session, Chief Executive Officer and founder of the organisation, Mohammed Bailor Jalloh, said Focus 1000 is a non- governmental organisation that works on the issues of women and children in the country.
Jalloh said the objective of the workshop was to educate participants on how to save the lives of women and children by improving the quality, availability and accessibility of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services.
He said the Saving Lives programme is an ambitious five years initiative providing significant support in all 14 districts, with the potential to making a significant impact in terms of strengthening the health systems in Sierra Leone.
He added that the engagement would support Kombra Network structures including religious leaders, market women, traditional healers, the media, Civil Society Organisations, community leaders, youth groups and women’s groups to undertake a range of actions to address the issues in communities across the country.
The founder of Focus 1000 said the engagement would ensure to coordinate and build synergies with other health systems strengthening structures at the district and community levels, provide leadership in health messaging and engagements for the structures, raise awareness among community members, mobilise communities and engage stakeholders at the district and community levels to tackle key health burdens on maternal and infant mortality, raise awareness to increase health services uptake in communities, promote immunization and proper use of bed nets.
Social Mobilization Officer of the National Malarial Control Programme, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Wannie Kumba Lahai, said they have a goal to ensure that they reduce malarial mobility and mortality by 50% in the country.
She noted that children and pregnant women were more vulnerable to the disease hence they were laying emphasis on them.
“Malaria is one of the leading causes of death and illness among women and children and pregnant women are at higher risk of getting the disease with worst effects,” she said.
Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer of Blood Services at Connaught Hospital, Saio Y. Kamara, said the Services is a programme in the ministry of health that is charged with the responsible to administering safe blood to all patients requiring blood transfusion.