MOHS Commences Consultative Meeting …For Review Of National Quality Of Care

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, in collaboration with WHO and development partners, has commenced a two day Consultative Meeting for the Review of the National Quality Care Policy and Strategy on Tuesday February 12, 2019 at the Freetown International Conference Centre, Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.
It could be recalled that in December 2017, Sierra Leone was co-opted into the Global Network for Improving Quality of Care for mothers, newborn and children. The global network has a vision that every pregnant woman, newborn and child receives good quality care in health services, with the goal to halve maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths in health facilities within five years in the participating countries.
WHO Officer-In- Charge, Alexander Chimbaru, stated that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have set ambitious health-related targets for mothers, newborns and children under the umbrella of Universal Health Coverage by 2030.
He reiterated that addressing quality of care will be fundamental in reducing maternal and newborn mortality and achieving the health-related SDG targets.
Mr. Chimbaru revealed that over 70 percent of maternal deaths occur as a result of complications of pregnancy and childbirth, such as haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, sepsis, and abortion, adding that complications of preterm birth, birth asphyxia, intrapartum-related neonatal death and neonatal infections together account for more than 85% of newborn mortality.
He noted that, in order to address the high mortality rates, Sierra Leone developed a five year Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health strategy 2017 to 2021, which aims to accelerate reduction of preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents and ensure their health and wellbeing through increasing access to and utilization of quality evidence based RMNCAH high impact interventions at all level of service delivery.
The WHO Officer-In –Charge commended the Ministry of Health for embracing the Quality of Care and establishing Quality of Care programme in the Ministry, and assured of WHO’s continued commitment to work with the Ministry and partners to achieve their goal.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Public Health, Rev. Cannon Dr Thomas Samba, observed that, with the development of the document, it will ensure that people have access to the care that can improve their health.
He explained that improving health is a matter of population creativity, which translates to economic development of a country. He added that it also increases the confidence of the beneficiaries of the services, adding that service uptake can reduce cost of care in the ultimate scenario.
Dr Samba commended the partners for embarking on what he referred to as “the journey of improving Quality of Care”, and believed that if they improve the quality of care, they would have made gains and reversed the ugly trends.
UNFPA Consultant, Dr Pearl Nanka-Bruce, stated that a lot of efforts have been made, especially Post-Ebola era, to improve quality of care in the facilities and how health care is delivered to the populace.
She told the gathering that different partners have done different things and it is about time to bring together everything in one umbrella, and happy to note that the quality of care has been developed to have one direction that they are working.
UNICEF Health Specialist, Dr Mariama Mustapha, said UNICEF is extremely delighted to be part of the exercise, as it has been mostly implications for the part they need to fellow moving forward.
She assured of UNICEF’s commitment to supporting the Ministry’s efforts to make a normal practice in the health sector.
Highlights of the Consultative Meeting include presentation on Sierra Leone RMNCAH situation, vision, goal and strategy objective, guiding principle, progress, achievement and challenges by the Director of Reproductive and Child Health, Dr Sartie Kenneh; and vision for quality, mission, care values, governance structure and role of different levels of the structure by the Programme Manager, Quality Management Control, Matron Margaret Mannah.

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