- says Policy Adviser to First Lady
March 30, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie & Regina Pratt
Policy Adviser in the Office of the First Lady yesterday assured women and adolescent girls that hospitals and health centers across the country are now safe to seek services for reproductive health.
Speaking at the 5th anniversary of the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) and Safe Motherhood Day 2015, Sam Bangura said hospitals and health care centers now have adequate staff who are well trained in infection control and prevention to treat patients.
“It is crucial that we build a resilient health system and adopt an integrated approach to reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality,” he said. “We now have an opportunity to reassess our challenges and renew our efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality.”
Mr. Bangura commended the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for their tireless efforts to reduce maternal mortality nationwide, adding that since the launch of CARMMA in 2010, the UN agency has intensified its contribution to support government increase human resources for maternal and child health.
He assured of the First Lady’s office commitment to the fight against maternal and child mortality as he expressed concern about high incidences of child deaths.
“We need a concerted effort to improve the pregnancy and delivery experiences of all women. The goal of the government is to ensure that all women have a safe and healthy pregnancy. The Office of the First Lady will continue to support institutional delivery through the provision of baby and nutritional packs,” he said.
Also, UNFPA’s Technical Head of Programmes, Dr. Begum Hashina, stated that the aim of CARMMA is to increase access to quality maternal and child health services in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality.
She averred that since the launch of CARMMA, UNFPA had intensified efforts to support government, through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, address issues of maternal mortality.
“As we commemorate Safe Motherhood Day, UNFPA supports the government and the Office of the First Lady to assure women/mothers of safe maternal health services,” she assured. “We encourage mothers to seek maternal care in health facilities. UNFPA reaffirms its commitment to support reproductive and maternal health issues in Sierra Leone.”
On her part, president of Sierra Leone Midwives Association, Safiatu A. Foday, thanked the government and UNFPA for their investment in midwives, but appealed for quality accommodation for midwives on deployment in districts and rural communities.
She reiterated the commitment of midwives to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in the country.