FREETOWN, June 13 2018 - Sierra Leone has become the latest country to join the Global Quality of Care Network, which aims to ensure that every pregnant woman, newborn and child can receive quality healthcare, and to halve maternal and newborn deaths in targeted health facilities within five years.
Sierra Leone continues to experience high rates of child and maternal deaths, and strengthening quality alongside access to healthcare at all stages of the lifecycle, including adolescence, pregnancy, deliveries and the early childhood years, will be critical for saving lives.
To implement the ambitious Quality of Care agenda in Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is in the process of establishing a dedicated Secretariat under the leadership of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
“We will do everything possible to support and promote equity, quality and dignity in our health services. We will give quality of care the highest priority. And we will work with partners to maintain the international momentum around the goal of reducing death of mothers and children in 2018 and beyond,” said Dr. Sarian Kamara, speaking on behalf of the CMO at a kickoff event in Freetown.
Through the programme, she said, a technical working group and steering committee will oversee Quality of Care activities including those implemented at selected learning sites. Further to this, a Quality of Care policy and strategy, tools, manuals and standards are also being developed with the support of WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and other partners.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Kamara called for collaboration from health workers and across the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in implementing the activities under the programme, saying that it will require increased team-work, a shift to person-centered care, strong community participation, and investment in data for decision making.
Improving quality of health services is a critical part of the agenda for saving lives in Sierra Leone, and achieving ‘Health for All’. With assistance from the UK Government, WHO is prioritizing efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of maternal and child health services, reduce delays and barriers to access, and throughout the lifecycle, to support timely, appropriate care, with a particular focus on reducing preventable deaths of women and children.