April 11, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation I, yesterday stated that the country’s national development seriously hinges on the health status of the citizenry, as such, priority should be given to health as it is the most important public good.
Madina Rahman was speaking at the Catco International Hotel in Freetown during the opening session of a four-day Health Sector Performance review for 2016.
She urged for all and sundry to come on board in order to build a health system that would be resilient and responsive to the health needs of the population.
She stated that the country’s health system, like others around the world, was inevitably confronted with multiple national challenges- from economic crises to environmental disaster and infectious disease outbreaks, among others.
She said there was a growing consensus that strengthening health systems would be necessary to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Health Coverage agendas.
“The ideas of resilience and responsiveness are central to understanding how health systems can sustain progress towards health and health equity. Many health system drivers lie outside traditional health boundaries,” she said.
According to her, a resilient health system delivers necessary services and must be able to absorb the shocks and sustain the gains already made or risk having decades of investment wiped out.
Madam Rahman added that a responsive health system anticipates future needs, as well as harnesses emerging opportunities to promote universal health coverage and universal access to effective interventions.
Also, Country Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Geoffrey Wiffin, reiterated his organisation and other partners’ commitment to supporting the ministry in providing the best health services possible to the citizenry.
He stated that the timing for the review was good as it was very much critical to taking stock of progress made against the 10-24 months of the President’s Recovery Priorities since its implementation phase would end soon.
“In the next four days of this review, I hope that more results and progress would be shared by all directorates, programmes and DHMTs. In as much as achievements are shared, I hope the challenges and difficulties are also shared,” he said.
Speaking at the opening session was the Planning Specialist, Alhassan Fouard Kanu, who stated that the ministry had introduced sector-wide reviews since 2010.
He said the review was meant to track the performances of the different directorates and programs with regards the implementation of health related projects across the country in 2016.