Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the US Ambassador, Maria Brewer said the donation is to recognize the milestone of their Post-Ebola Health System Strengthening activities, as well as support the donation of 19 priority medicines to support the emerging needs and medical care for Ebola survivors
She informed her audience that the donation to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is a symbol of their greater commitment to promoting and supporting the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) as the international community continues to work towards a sustained Ebola-free West Africa. She added that the GHSA provides an innovative, pro-active approach to prevent, detect and respond to future disease outbreaks.
Ambassador Brewer said they are providing medicines to treat the most common medical conditions of Ebola survivors, which are also common among the general Sierra Leone population, adding that these medicines, which are extremely limited in Sierra Leone, support eye care, mental health, arthritis and joint pain.
Receiving the items, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie said the donation was to recognize the support and commitment of the United States Government in strengthening the health services and to improve health outcomes for women and children in Sierra Leone.
He said the donation continues to show the American Government’s commitment not only to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, but to His Excellency, the President and people of Sierra Leone. This, he said is an excellent opportunity to highlight the important role of a holistic approach and coordination in service delivery at all level of care.
Dr. Wurie reiterated that the relationship between Sierra Leone and the United States Government has spanned many years and they are committed to continue on a strong foundation.
He noted that the advent within the Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital Complex, Connaught hospital is an important pillar for the Ministry to strengthen the ongoing pre-service and post-graduate medical education. He thanked the US government for the support and hoped that the medicines donated will be useful to provide better quality services.
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo disclosed that about a year ago they celebrated on the achievements of the USAID Post-Ebola Recovery Flagship Programme, which rehabilitated 300 Peripheral Health Units within less than two years.
He stated that now, they are celebrating the cooperation between the U.S. and Sierra Leone government to strengthen the health system service delivery, through an important donation of specialty medicines that will be made available nationwide by the Ministry.
Earlier, the Deputy Chief Medical Director, University of Sierra Leone Connaught Teaching Hospital Complex, Dr. Gibrilla Fadlu Deen said Connaught hospital was key in contributing to the country’s response to the Ebola outbreak and has played an important role during the recovery phase, being one of the hospitals to effectively respond to the health sequelae of Ebola survivors.
Giving an overview of the project, the Health System Strengthening Unit Manager, Dr. Kwame Oneill said the project was initiated in 2015 as co-led to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs with support from DFID and USAID.
He said the objective of the project was to strengthen delivery of services across the continuum of care, capacity building to enhance quality of services, facilitate community reintegration and surveillance, and stigma reduction.