Assessment of services among Ministries Departments and Agencies to determine where we got it right or wrong ; to determine how we get to where we are and reasons for some of the short comings constitute a vital component in strengthening service delivery with special reference to health system governance of Sierra Leone.
Delivering a keynote address the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 1 Hon. Madina Rahman pointed out that the health systems around the world inevitably confronts multiple national challenges: from economic crises to environmental disaster; infectious diseases outbreaks to hidden epidemics of mental illness and malnutrition , pointing out that the defeated Ebola Virus Disease; mental health; emerging chronic diseases like cancers and diabetes and the convergence of both old and new challenges are confronting the health sector.
She explained that the resilience and responsiveness are central to understanding how health system can sustain progress towards health equity.
A responsive health system she went on anticipate future needs, as well as harnessing emerging opportunities to promote universal health coverage and universal access to effective interventions.
“Our changing world also brings new opportunities from information technology and social media to bio-technology that must be harnessed for building resilience and responsiveness” she said.
She expressed optimism that, during the course of the 4 days review the achievements and challenges would be identified and panel discussion around improved service delivery and health workers training issues would help enhance the country’s health sector.
The UNICEF Representative Geoff Wiffin remarked that the annual performance review is very crucial in determining the achievements and challenges in the sector, stating that provision of equipment and facilities cannot be sustained if the human resources are not organized to properly manage the facilities.
He said there has been remarkable achievement in the sector in the year under review in the Directorate of Human Resource; Reproductive Health Care; Primary Health Care; Policy Planning and Information and the provision of essential drugs and medical equipment and supplies including 341 refrigerators, 56 freezers and refrigerators and other cold chain equipment that have been distributed nationwide.
He concluded that, during the 4 days session the Directorates and District Health Management Teams will share their achievements and challenges to enrich the panel discussions.
WHO Representative, Dr. Anders Nordstrom observed that Government priority is to save the lives of children in Sierra Leone, adding that there is need to develop an integrated health information system to improve on health sector learning.
Talking on their commitment to support the Ministry of Health, he stated that WHO is expecting the Ministry to work hard and improve on service delivery.
DFID Team Leader, Basic Services, Angela Spilsbury said the review will help the Ministry to take stock of progresses and challenges in the Sector. She maintained that her organization have supported the Ministry in various areas and is committed to giving more support to improve on the sector.
In his welcome address the Chairman of the opening ceremony who is also the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, David Banya said the performance review is a necessary exercise for an institution to identify and openly discuss the achievements and challenges in the implementation of planned activities of the institution.
He explained that despite the Ebola epidemic in recent past and the savagery with which it subdued health workers to, his Ministry has continued to stand as a force to deliver health services across the country, thereby demonstrating the collective resolve of staff at all levels to translate the mandate of the Ministry into reality.