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Dr. Austin Demby Highlights Sierra Leone’s Health Achievements at 77th WHA

Dr. Austin Demby Highlights Sierra Leone’s Health Achievements at 77th WHA

Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday 29 May 2024 - Honourable Dr. Austin Demby, Minister of Health of the Republic of Sierra Leone, delivered a powerful statement at the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) underlining the country's health milestones and ongoing commitment to improving public health systems.

Dr. Demby highlighted the significance of this year’s WHA theme, “All for Health, Health for All,” emphasizing the pivotal role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in global health coordination. He said with Ebola and COVID-19 experience, Sierra Leone has set up a new health security architecture focuses on prevention, preparedness and response.

In 2023, Sierra Leone launched the Universal Health Preparedness and Response Flagship Initiative, demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding public health. Additionally, the establishment of the National Public Health Agency marked a proactive approach to addressing emergencies and disease outbreaks. Sierra Leone has been implementing Universal Health Coverage through the Innovative Life Stages Approach, ensuring comprehensive healthcare for every citizen at all life stages.

"Despite numerous challenges, our government remains committed to strengthening our health systems and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. "Our approach is to provide healthcare services through the Life Stages, from pregnancy, to the newborn child, to adolescents, adults, and senior citizens. At each node in the evolution of life we have an opportunity to impact the wellbeing of that individual by the quality of preventive, supportive, and curative services we provide. With this approach we are beginning to see dramatic gains with a more than 60% reduction in maternal mortality over the past decade, and over 30% reduction in infant deaths. We have seen dramatic increases in vaccine coverage including the introduction of new vaccines such as the new Malaria vaccine," stated Dr. Demby.

He commended the visionary leadership of President Julius Madda Bio and highlighted significant strides made in public health preparedness and response.

Dr. Demby acknowledged the support from development partners and international organizations, particularly the WHO, in the country’s pursuit of universal health coverage. He called for a renewed commitment at the 77th WHA to work collaboratively to ensure quality health services for all.

"We call on the WHO and other international development partners to continue providing technical guidance and support to strengthen health systems, address health inequities, and ensure health security for all, in alignment with government priorities," he urged.

Concluding his address, Dr. Demby extended profound gratitude to healthcare workers and esteemed partners, recognizing their dedication and selflessness. He encouraged unity and collective effort towards the goal of comprehensive health for all.

The 77th WHA saw representatives from around the world reaffirming their commitment to global health and discussing strategies to overcome current health challenges, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation and support.

*For More Enquiries:
Mohamed Sheriff
Information Attaché, Geneva Switzerland
+41791756648
Email: m.sheriff@slmge.ch*