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14, 000 Health Workers Recommit to Policy

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14, 000 Health Workers Recommit to Policy

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He made the statement during the Community Health Worker Steering Committee revitalization meeting held on Friday August 17, 2018 at the Ministry’s Conference hall at Youyi Building in Freetown.

Dr. Alie Wurie disclosed that approximately 14, 000 Community Health Workers (CHWs), their Peer Supervisors and all stakeholders remain committed to the implementation of all sections of the policy.

He said during the implementation challenges over the period the Directorate of Primary Health Care through the Community Health Workers Hub has provided the required guidance and support to DHMTs and partners for a successful programme delivery. He added that trained CHWs deployed in communities are using their core functions to provide among others, health education and related information to communities, creating linkages between health facilities and communities, identify and refer special conditions to health facilities; address basic health needs especially in children, build and strengthen communities to be resilient in addressing health issues.

The Director of Primary Health Care reiterated that strengthening community health system is one of the four strategic objectives of the national RMNCAH strategy 2017-2021 which has been taken as the investment case for the health sector financing by the World Bank. He said the objective of the meeting was to reactivate the regular steering committee meeting, update about the status of implantation and the challenges faces, and discuss and agree on the way forward.

He reminded all that the Health Ministry Steering Committee is the top body in the governance structure of the CHW programme which is to give high level leadership and guidance in the country. He said over 13, 500 CHWs have completed pre-service training course as the new curriculum except one district Pujehun, equipped with job aids, equipment and supplies and have started delivering the package of services, adding that incentive payment started in four districts while preparation is underway to start in the other districts.

In her presentation, the Operation Officer, Community Health Workers, Hawanatu Kamara said  the CHWs is the solution to expand access to key interventions, increased linkages between communities and health care systems and provide health education and information.  She added that it is to advocate and support vulnerable individuals to receive appropriate services, build and strengthen community capacity to address basic health needs, provide direct health services and referrals.

She told the gathering that the funders of the CHW programme are the Government of Sierra Leone, DFID and GAVI via UNICEF, World Bank and Global Fund. She said World Bank is supporting Koinadugu and Kailahun with 2, 308 CHWs, Global Fund supporting Port Loko, Tonkolili, Moyamba, Pujehun, Bo, Kenema, Western Area  Rural and Western Area Urban with 8, 208 CHWs, DFID supporting Bombali, Kambia, Kono and Bonthe with 4, 022 CHWS and GAVI supporting Bombali and Kono.

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