May 22, 2018
By Regina Pratt
Representatives from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on Thursday, May 18, paid a courtesy visit on the new Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Wurie, at his Youyi Building office in Freetown.
Welcoming the team, Dr. Wurie observed that it was a rare case for people to work in and visit a country and continue to keep ties and as well donate a grant of US$9.5 million to strengthen midwifery education in Sierra Leone.
Speaking about the nursing sector in Sierra Leone, the minister said HRSA was doing their best as the country now offers degree courses in nursing.
He said the country has less than 8,000 nurses, with just 600 midwives, stating that they needed five times of that number.
“The required level of midwifery skills in the PHU’s is distinct and clear, yet we hardly have qualified people to work in these communities,” he stressed.
Dr. Myat Htoo Razak, Director, Division of Global Programs at HRSA, said they would be seeking advice and guidance from the minister to help in the area of primary health care and child health.
He said they would ensure that they work together with other agencies as the programme was meant for the people of Sierra Leone.
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Matron Hossinatu Koroma, said the purpose of the visit was to assess the Resilient and Responsive Health Systems Initiative programmes in which HRSA was partnering with ICAP at Columbia University.
She said that the visit was also to understand how their investment, through the Resilient and Response Health System ICAP was being implemented in Sierra Leone.
Matron Koroma said the five year (2017-2021) RRHS initiative in the country was a US$9.5 million grant administered by the US HRSA, adding that the initiative was being led by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and coordinated by ICAP at Columbia University.