January 5, 2020
By Kadrie Koroma-MOHS
Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has turn the sod for the construction of a modern School of Midwifery, Hostels, Lecture facility and a Family Radio Station on Friday January 31 2020 at Kenema district eastern Sierra Leone.
The project which is under the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Health System Strengthening is funded by the Islamic Development Bank.
Turning the sod, Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh highlighted that education, food security and health are the vital components to the development of the country, adding that they are looking at one key component of that matrix which is the health sector with a focus on strengthening health systems.
He informed his audience that strengthening health systems so far from the several activities of the Ministry is essentially along two axes namely building health care facilities and building health care capacity so that at least they have the human resources required to deliver on the health sector.
Dr. Juldeh Jalloh reiterated that the training institution will go a long way to building the capacity required to support safe delivery, and therefore reduce maternal and infant mortality rate
He stated that what is interesting about the project is that it has the two components of human capital development which is skills and health facilities, adding that the project taught out to have that component to sensitize the population about the need to visit the health facilities and about capacity that are within the health facilities to deal with safe delivery will add value to the project.
Vice President Jalloh descried this year as a year of accelerated delivery because they have already deliver and will continue to deliver in the human capital development. He added that they have spent 22 percent of their budget on education, increase health allocation to 11 percent, building water facilities across the country, buying school buses and feeding school children.
He commended the leadership and entire staff of the Ministry of Health for what they have done so far and believes that the institution will no doubt see an effective management system that would allow the facility to stand the test of time.
Minister of Health and Sanitation, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie disclosed that government is in continuity and there are loads of resources that were tag to Sierra Leone on various sectors that were not access at all.
He told the gathering that in 2011, there was a project to construct 8 Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) with theatre for surgery and X-Ray room and that was not access, but today all 8 PHUs have been built.
Prof. Alpha Wurie described the project as unique, stating that in 2013, the Demographic Health Survey revealed that 1,165 women would die among 100,000 live births, adding that the number came up to 1,360 around the Ebola period. He added that the Ambulance service is a major intervention that ensures they bring pregnant women as fast as possible to the health facility.
He revealed that last year they graduated 50 midwives from Freetown, 90 from Makeni and 47 from Bo to fight maternal mortality in the county.
The Health Minister informed his audience that they have 300 Acres at Kerry Town designated as a Health Village, declaring that as of next month they would engaged the Military for fencing, adding that they are protecting that because this year they are going to turn the sod for the construction of the Cancer Center in Sierra Leone. He added that this year, they would start the building of a Referral hospital in the Health Village.
He further stated that this year, they are going to start the building of the 7000 meters storage for drugs at the site, adding that with the Global Fund, they have already completed the road for the stores.
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Matron Mary Fullah described the project as a step in the right direction to mitigate the high maternal, neonatal and infant mortality rate in the country.
She observed that they have seen some significant reduction in the rate recently in the Demographic Health Survey 2018 but with the construction of an additional training institution for midwives, they can achieve more.
Matron Mary Fullah disclosed that since the beginning of the year, the Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery Services has embarked on several activities with support from government and partners including human capital development.
She stated that Nurses and Midwives have been trained in various specialties and tutorials to ensure maximize utilization and sustainability of all the development that has been designed for nursing and midwifery.
Giving the project overview, the Director of Reproductive and Child Health, Dr. Sartie Kenneh said in February 2014, the government of Sierra Leone discuss with partner to support what they called Save the Mothers Project in the country
He disclosed that it is a $11.1 million project with the aim of reducing maternal neonatal, infant mortality in the country. He added that the project was the first that was supported by the Islamic States Fund for Development and the Sixth project supported under the Ministry of Health and Sanitation by the Bank.
Dr. Sartie Kenneh said the objective is to improve access to quality, reproductive, maternal and child health.
Highlight of the event include statements by the Resident Ministry East, Andrew Fatorma, the Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Ambassador Foday Yumkella and the Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Donald Bash-Taqi.