The first cohort focuses on leadership and management, quality improvement and data management for an informed decision. Participants of the program include medical graduates from Connaught Hospital, Ola During Children Hospital (ODCH) and Princess Christian Maternal Hospital (PCMH). The goal is to improve capacity and address health service delivery challenges and outcomes. The graduation and certification ceremony took place on Friday 31st May 2019, at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown. Present at the ceremony were graduates from the first cohorts of the program, representatives from CDC, ICAP, MOHS, and other health-oriented institutions and stakeholders in the sector.
Dr. Mame Awa Toure the Country Director of ICAP in Sierra Leone, in her opening remarks, welcomed all present at the graduation ceremony and congratulated the graduates for their hard work to reach the peak of the training. “As we all know, the WHO health system framework outlines leadership and governance as one of the six building blocks of the medical system. Also, the Ministry of Health has long recognized that medical officers need modern skills training in order to improve health service delivery,” she said. The ICAP Country Director further recognized the support received from CDC and outlined the course structure. To the graduates, she reminded them that the training was tailored to give them the confidence to find new and creative skills in their workplace and also help them deal with complex leadership situations which will provide them effective and quality service outcome. Dr. Brigette the surveillance and program lead at CDC explained the significance of CDC support to various programs in Sierra Leone. “I do want to emphasize a little bit more about CDC’s support for this work and other work we are doing in the country. Many of you must have heard about the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) which is the base for the existence of CDC in Sierra Leone. GHSA help countries implement their international health regulations. It is a tool to help countries comply with its mandatory mechanisms with the international community. Workforce development is one of CDC premium and leading framework of the eleven technical areas of GHSA,” she said.
Dr. Samai from MoHS said that Sierra Leone is becoming a country where foreigners come to collect data and use it to outsource funds and do research, while we forget that this data is very relevant to our growth as a country. The trained House Officers from PCMH, ODCH, and Connaught delivered impressive presentations on how they learned various tasks from the training program.
Dr. Fatu Amie Kalokoh a graduate from ODCH emphasized the relevance of the training. “Clearly, this program has helped us realize the daily death rates especially of babies, which is sometimes caused by a lack of knowledge and negligence from health caregivers. Ignorance is no excuse, but it saddens one’s heart to know that knowledge gap has grappled the understanding of mothers and caregivers that not attending proper antenatal care and not bringing your children to the hospital for timely intervention is actually a contributing factor to the detrimental effect of these babies. Having gone through this training, we are sure of taking a different route for improvements?” she said. The program climaxed with the distribution of certificates and gift packages from the ICAP team.