The UNICEF Representative Geert Capaelare has on behalf of the UN Country Team their continued commitment to the newly established Reproductive and Child Health Programme of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to ensure that it’s Districts Rolling Plans for the incoming year are given the required support to achieve the desired goals and objectives.
Speaking at the induction and launching ceremony of the Reproductive and Child Health Directorate held at the Atlantic Hall of the National Stadium in Freetown, the UNICEF Representative disclosed a decrease in the maternal, newborn and under-five mortality in Sierra Leone, a situation he said shows the commitment and dedication of the services of staff of the ministry and partners.
He noted that high political commitment of President Koroma and the ministers have also contributed to ensuring that women and children in Sierra Leone get the necessary health care delivery services.
The chief Medical Officer, Dr Krisito Sheku Daoh said the Directorate has a unique link with the Ministries of Finance, Local Government, DFID, the World Bank, Irish Aid and other development partners with the focus of moving towards one direction for a comprehensive and sustainable maternal and newborn child health care delivery system in the country.
He told his audience that coordination within the ministry would now be articulated into a resourceful system that would see the two ministries playing an oversight role together with the central committee in making the ministry a more viable institution.
Giving the objectives of the new directorate, the newly appointed director of the programme, Dr Samuel Kargbo said the directorate aims at improving the poor indicators of maternal and child health, the morale of service providers as well as strengthening institutional capacity among other key objectives.
Launching the directorate, the deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Sheku Tejan Koroma described the new directorate as an institution that is full of energy and enthusiasm with a leadership that is ready to make positive change with his team of professionals.
He said as ministers, they appreciate the efforts of all their staff over the years noting that in spite of the numerous constraints and poor conditions of service that are still making sacrifices towards improving the status of the health care delivery system. Koroma said the ministry has taken the Reproductive and Child Health Programme as a key priority for the development and growth of all other health components within the ministry, hoping that together with the team of professionals they would be able to control maternal and child deaths that are preventable.
He expressed gratitude and appreciation to all partners and looks forward to their continued support.
Other highlights included slid presentations on coordination mechanism in the Health Sector by the Donor liaison officer, Yayah Conteh, the relationship between central and the district, by Emmanuel Gaima of the decentralization secretariat, and the way forward by the director of the reproductive and child health programme, Dr Samuel Kargbo.