March 9, Freetown, Sierra Leone: In a collaborative effort between the Government of Sierra Leone and its development partners to improve the access to and availability of high-quality health services in the country, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), Action Contre la Faim, and Save the Children will officially launch the Advancing Partners & Communities project: “Strengthening Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (RMNCH) Services as part of the Post-Ebola Health Sector Recovery in Western Area” on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 at the Sierra Leone Bank Complex. The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Advancing Partners & Communities project goal is to reduce the high rates of neonatal, under-five, and maternal mortality in the country. The focus of its interventions is to increase the capacity of the health workforce and community platforms to provide high-quality reproductive, maternal, neo-natal, and child (RMNCH) services, in line with the MOHS infection prevention control (IPC) and water sanitation and hygiene guidelines. More than USD 4 million will be invested in rural and urban Western Area to enhance quality, safety, and access to health services in about 90 community health facilities. The project expects to train and actively support more than 600 health professionals and community health workers in a range of RMNCH and IPC topics, along with renovations in 40 health facilities, provision of delivery kits and other medical equipment, and improvements in water supply through borehole drilling and the repair of existing wells.
"The health facilities in the communities…are the first level of care where health services are delivered to the population... the idea is to improve those to keep disease morbidity very low. In each of the RMNCH areas, we have challenges and partners can actually support addressing a range of issues, from improving staff skills to facility renovations, community engagement, or equipment. And there’s sustainability, making sure that good practices stay and health care delivery is able to go on after the project’s capacity building and productive work. At the DHMT, we are very happy to work with [Advancing Partners & Communities] and we do welcome USAID’s invaluable input into our work and the welfare of our people.”
Dr. T. T. Samba, District Medical Officer of Western Area.
In Sierra Leone, the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities project is implemented in five districts through a partnership of national and international organizations led by JSI and FHI 360, in collaboration with Action Contre le Faim, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, GOAL, International Medical Corps, and Save the Children. Action Contre le Faim and Save the Children are implementing partners in Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural respectively.