The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has handed over medical supplies and equipment procured with Islamic Development Bank IsDB) funds on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone to contribute in strengthening Sierra Leone’s health delivery system during the current response to COVID-19.
This consignment, which includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), generator sets, tents, pharmaceuticals, oxygen therapy devices, and other medical devices and instruments, will help to improve Sierra Leone’s COVID-19 case management and continuity of essential health services, while also strengthening the overall health system of the country.
“The Government of Sierra Leone warmly welcomes the support from the isDB through UNICEF in donating these essential items, which will go a long way in dealing with the threat of COVID-19, and other health concerns across the country. We cannot afford to let down our guards during these trying times. It is therefore comforting that this support affords us with high quality equipment for providing healthcare to the people of Sierra Leone” said Dr Anthony Sandy, Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation.
These supplies have been procured under a project entitled “Strengthening COVID-19 Response and Essential Health Services in Sierra Leone”, through which 10 district COVID-19 Treatment Centers (CTCs) and COVID-19 Community Care Centers (CCCs) will receive basic medical equipment, consumables, furniture, and other related supplies.
The project also supports the strengthening of clinical practices at secondary hospitals within seven selected district hospitals, through provision of essential medicines, Infection Protection and Controls supplies, and construction or rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities.
This handover of medical supplies and equipment comes at a point when Sierra Leone is building preparedness against potential future waves of COVID-19 after successfully controlling the third wave.
As of 27th of September 2021, Sierra Leone had 6,393 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 121 associated deaths, since the first COVID-19 positive case was announced on March 31, 2020.
The recent experience with the third wave motivated concerted efforts by Government and partners to continue, sustain, and expand the COVID-19 response, including accelerating vaccination efforts.
This support from IsDB is therefore critical in making sure that the country is fully prepared to prevent and respond to potential future waves of COVID-19 or any other disease outbreak, while also ensuring continuity of essential services in such occasions.
“UNICEF will continue to support the smooth and timely delivery of vaccines, equipment and supplies required for COVID-19 prevention and response in Sierra Leone,” said UNICEF Representative, Dr. Suleiman Braimoh. “We also restate our continuing commitment to support social mobilisation and awareness raising activities to promote full uptake of essential services and COVID-19 vaccines during this pandemic.”
In addition to the supplies handed over today, UNICEF will provide further support through IsDB-funding, including rehabilitation of sanitation and waste management facility and solar-powered water supply systems across the target hospitals; installation of oxygen generating plants with refillable cylinders and ward piping and human resource capacity building in maintenance and management of medical equipment.