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UNFPA launches annual report

May 4, 2016 By Regina Pratt

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Thursday, 28 April, 2016 officially launched its Sierra Leone Annual Report at Bintumani Hotel, Aberdeen, in Freetown by Officer-In-Charge, Dr. Sennen Hounton.

In his statement, Dr. Hounton said that the UN agency continues to provide support to two midwifery schools in the country to address the shortage and inequitable distribution of midwifes across the country.

He acknowledged partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, donors and other UN agencies in addressing issues related to women and girls, adding that the 2015 UNFPA Sierra Leone Annual Report highlights their achievements as well as challenges and lessons learnt.

He said human resource was a critical component in strengthening the health sector, adding that “we support the government’s commitment to improve the health workforce coverage and UNFPA last year invested in five main strategies: training, deployment and retention of midwives, task shifting for scaling-up access to Cesarean-section and family planning, nurse anesthetists investment for life-saving surgeries and training of community health workers for improving health-seeking behaviour.”

Dr. Hounton said there was need for more investments in strengthening national systems at all levels, underscoring that development cannot be sustained unless there is a strong disaster risk reduction, functional structures, policies and strategies in place to avoid the reversal of hard won development gains.

He continued that the report was an important transparent and accountability process and that the agency looks forward to working with the Government of Sierra Leone, donors and development partners and national stakeholders in implementing the remaining portion of its Sixth Country Programme Action Plan (2015-2019) with a new focus on development and shared prosperity.

The UNFPA Officer-in-Charge said human resource was their greatest asset as he underscored the lead role they played in breaking the chain of transmission and shaping the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) response through contact tracing and surveillance, recognised nationwide, notably by President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, and the African Union Commission.

He said that UNFPA was especially proud to have been able to successfully handover the task of EVD contact tracing to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and World Health Organization in November 2015, with all of its associated personnel and resources.

“Following the re-opening of schools after a long break due to the Ebola outbreak, UNFPA also worked tirelessly to ensure that alternative arrangements were in place for the thousands of pregnant adolescent girls expelled from schools due to the prevailing Government educational policy,” Dr. Sennen Hounton stated.

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