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Health Minister Dr Demby Co-host Child Survival Action Meeting

Health Minister Dr Demby Co-host Child Survival Action Meeting

Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday 26 May 2024 – The Minister of Health of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Austin Demby, who doubles as the co-host of the Child Survival Action and served as panelist of the Partnership for Maternal, New-born and Child Health (PNCH) on the margins of the World Health Assembly, has highlighted Sierra Leone experiences with African Health Ministers and Global Health Partners on accelerated progress for Child Survival Action during a high-level discussion roundtable meeting on towards 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health is a multi-constituency partnership hosted by the World Health Organization and chaired by Githinji Gitanji.

PMNCH seeks to achieve universal access to comprehensive, high-quality reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health care the world over.

This year’s high-level government and non-governmental organizations’ engagement were geared towards sharing experiences of the different health partners in improving maternal, new-born and child health care.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health elaborates on the tremendous gains the government under the dynamic leadership of President Julius Maada Bio, making in the area of reducing maternal and child mortality, diarrhea, Malaria, HIV, malnutrition, and other communicable diseases.

The health minister said the Government considers human capital development under the 'Five-Game Changers' that focuses on education, health and agriculture as a top priority for the nation, noting that Sierra Leone strongly commits itself to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to Primary Healthcare (PHC) as a vehicle for the achievement of UHC.

“The Ministry of Health declared Maternal and Child Mortality an internal emergency and Child Health a priority because of Strong Political will and Commitment, such that Sierra Leone developed the Child Survival Action Plan in 2023, and it was globally launched in Madrid during the 2nd Global Pneumonia Forum in April 2023. This was made possible by the collective effort of our health development partners, NGOs and stakeholders in the Ministry of Health”, The Health Minister noted.

He said with the National launch of the CSAP in June 2023, followed by Regional Launches and Dissemination Nationwide, the Extended Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition Strategy and the Maternal and Newborn Health Acceleration Plan, established the National Child Health Programme (NCHP) under the Directorate of RMNCAH-N, developed the Annual Work Plan for the NCHP, established National Child Health Technical Working Group which is multi-sectoral and meets monthly to discuss critical issues affecting children, promote the use of evidence-based practice, developed Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the CSAP, with improved access to services, the country reduced under-five mortality immensely between 1990 and 2023. However, he said Sierra Leone is one of the 59 countries which need to accelerate progress to achieve the SDG-3 target for under-five mortality by 2030.

“I want to use this opportunity to advocate for increased investment in research for child health, promotive, preventive, and curative measures, and interventions only then we can see the long-term benefits for communities and countries. We are currently implementing our CSAP in a district while at the same time mobilising partners and resources for the full alignment and implementation nationwide”, the health minister noted.

The Minister of Health reiterated Sierra Leone’s commitment to promoting protecting children and women in achieving Universal Health Coverage.

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