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Sierra Leone
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US Ambassador Opens Library, New Skills Lab

May 18, 2018 By Regina Pratt

The United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria Brewer, Thursday, 16th May opened a new skills laboratory to save the lives of women and new born babies during delivery at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital.

Ambassador Brewer said the US Government has identified healthcare as one of the top priorities for their engagement with the government and people of Sierra Leone.

“Through major contributions by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID the majority of US foreign assistance to Sierra Leone is health related,” she said, adding that health diplomacy was central to their purpose and activities in cooperation with local partners.

Ms. Brewer further said they were helping to build better health system by supporting the country’s capacity to detect, prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in the country.

The US Ambassador revealed that the Health Resources and Service Administration, like the Centers for Disease Control, was part of the US Department of Health and Services, which is essentially the US Ministry of Health.

In her welcome address, Deputy Principal of the School of Midwifery, Sister Emilia Decker, said the school, which was founded in 1945, was originally at the Connaught Hospital but subsequently moved to the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital.

Sister Decker said that their vision was to produce skilled birth attendants with the requisite knowledge, correct skills and positive attitude to effectively work in maternal and child health practice at all levels of care, especially in the tertiary setting.

She further said with the help of ICAP they were able to renovate and expand the Skills Laboratory and Library which will enable them offer quality skills training.

“This is a vital contribution to help reduce the maternal mortality rate in the country,” she stated.

Matron Hossinatu Kanu Koroma, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, who represented the Chief Medical Officer, said there was a gap between education and practice, and that more than 1,000 Peripheral Health Units do not have skilled birth attendants.

“In strengthening the health system, you have to strengthen midwifery in Sierra Leone,” she stressed.

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