She reminded her audience about the country’s fragile health system, with the highest maternal and mortality rate in the world and the fifth highest child mortality rate, and the devastating effect on the health service. Madam Rahman pointed out that while the Ebola virus disease created huge challenges for the system, it is also currently providing the opportunity for positive transformation and a change in service delivery.
The Deputy Minister maintained that with the gains highlighted, more ambitious targets have been set for the 10-24 month period, focusing on saving the lives of 600 women and 5,000 children, ensuring that there is capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to epidemics and providing a comprehensive health care for Ebola survivors.
She described the composition of the participants as laudable, and expressed optimism for well; planned 10-24 month Presidential Recovery priorities.
Making his statement, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo noted that the early recovery period achieved many good things but that there is need for greater community and district engagement, more focus on data verification and sources at the planning stage, using working groups including development and implementing partners to drive problem solving and enhance and embedding capacity support at the ministries, department and agencies level.
The workshop Dr. Kargbo observed incorporates many of those lessons learnt to improve the planning process for the next phase of the Presidential Recovery Plan, adding that participants would be the cornerstone of their coordinated efforts to achieve the ambitious targets they would set themselves over the next six months.
Dr. Kargbo expressed optimism that for the next two days they would collaboratively work together to review and learn lessons from the initial three months planning process, apply them to the refinement and development of the plans and agree on the way forward.
The Senior Health Adviser DFID, Angela Spilsbury congratulated the Ministry of Health for the good plans, and the regular reporting and progress made.
She observed the 11 months to implement the plans that would make what she referred to as a lasting difference to the health sector and people’s lives with unique opportunity, resources and attention.
Angela Spilsbury expressed the need to see an increased commitment from all sides from the government to raise revenue and contribute more finance to the sector and use resources meaningfully.
She reiterated support from donors to align priorities plan and resources with recovery from international partners to support government leadership and delivery, strong coordination transparency and accountability. “Only by doing this we will succeed”, opined the DFID Health Adviser.
Other speakers include the WHO Country Representative, Dr. Anders Nordstrom, Health Specialist, World Bank Sierra Leone Office, Eleonora Genovese and USAID Health Adviser, Saad El-Din Hassan.
The ceremony was chaired by the 10-24 months Health Sector Coordinator, President’s Recovery Priorities Programme, Dr. Clifford Kamara.