-Deputy Chief Medical Officer 1
May 15, 2017 Solomon Rogers
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer I, Dr. Sarian Kamara has stated that the Directorate of the Reproductive and Child Health in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has a key responsibility to ensure that “No woman should die while bringing life to the world,” noting that it is one of the key result areas under President Recovery Priorities.
She made the above statement while officially declaring Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescents Health (RMNCAH) 2016 annual review, opened at the Hotel Conteh U- Makeni on Thursday, 11th May, 2017.
She went on to say that it was a disturbing reality that Sierra Leone was yet to come out of the list of nations identified with the highest maternal and child mortalities in the world.
She maintained that, efforts to reverse the negative trend have so far proven elusive with the current inverse relationship between coverage and outcomes suggesting otherwise; which she said elicit the question about the quality of the health outcomes indicators.
She observed that uptake of RMNCAH services was reportedly high but outcomes suggest otherwise which elicit the questions about the quality of health services provided at the facilities.
She confirmed that the leading causes of death for women and children are closely connected to the perinatal period, with inherent challenges linked to inadequate skilled health workers , unstable RMNCAH commodities and supplies including : blood, weak infrastructure for provision of RMNCAH high impact interventions , weak referral systems, demand and supply side barriers to access and utilization , weak community health systems and weak health information systems.
She said the Directorate of Reproductive Child Health with support from partners was accelerating efforts towards the development of the Sierra Leone every Newborn Action Plan and harmonize national training manual.
The National maternal Death Surveillance and response guidelines have been produced and widely disseminated in every District across the country with district Maternal Death Surveillance and Response committees instituted to report, investigate and take actions to curtail the high incidence of maternal mortality.
Talking on the expected outcome, the Director of Reproductive and Child Health Dr. Santigie Sesay,said outcome seeks to address issues affecting staff, improve coordination with development partners to give more support to the health sector so that no pregnant woman will die while delivering child.
She said efforts have been made to establish and equip fully functional neonatal intensive care units in regional hospitals, as a start of scale up to all referral hospitals in the public sector and a measure to halt and reverse the high neonatal mortality.
In her remarks on behalf of WHO and other key UN Agencies, Dr. Janet Kayita, said the review was very crucial in health sector strengthening ,explaining that stakeholders will use the opportunity to take stock of challenges and progress in reproductive and child health implementation in 2016, so as to identify gaps and collectively work with Government and other development Agencies to provide technical supports to address the problems.