Infant mortality is the anchor of Sierra Leone at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index (UNDI), against this backdrop, Health Minister; Dr Soccoh Kabia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ‘Wellbodi’ Partnership.
In his statement, prior to the signing at his Youyi Building Office on Friday, Dr Kabbia said, “[infant mortality] has become a way of life and that is unacceptable.”
“When I assumed office”, he explained, “I decided to use everything within my power to change this situation,” he said.
Dr Muctarr Jalloh explained that the partnership was established to support the provision of pediatric care in Sierra Leone.
He showered praises on members of the ‘Welbodi Partnership’ for their tremendous work.
In high spirits, he lauded the efforts of the Minister for his support, as “this is an important element because without the political will and support very few things happen,” he said.
In his statement, the Director of ‘Welbodi’ Partnership Tom Cairnes said that the Ministry of Health should be in the fore front in changing Sierra Leone’s perception in the whole world, “as the health status in the country is one of the factors which determine Sierra Leone’s position on the human development index,” he stressed.
Neonatologist Consultant, Dr Tom Lissauer noted that he was dismayed “to see a large number of seriously ill children coming to the hospital. To tackle this problem we need to prevent children from becoming very ill and also have proper service delivery for these children,” he explained.
Ryann Manning of the partnership stated that the doctors in Sierra Leone have been doing well with limited resources at their disposal, so “every support you give them, I’m sure would be welcomed,” denoted.
The partnership has been working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ola During Children’s Hospital, and other international partners to create the Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health.
In doing so the partnership has built a unique combination of local presence and international partnership to support improvements in child mortality and morbidity.
By Ophaniel Gooding