Five health facilities in Mafufuneh, Krubola, Tombodu, Konsho and Bumbuna have been upgraded and equipped with water storage tanks connected with distribution/supply system, sewage networking and solar power to provide basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) services.
The UNICEF Representative, Geoff Wiffin said the opening marked a significant step forward to health service capacity in Sierra Leone, particularly for the most vulnerable women and children.
He added that the infrastructure improvement will contribute greatly towards better services delivery for mothers and babies, improved supply of medicines, and better living conditions for health workers, all plateful to ensure more mothers survive child birth, and more children reach their fifth birthday.
Head of the European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Peter Versteeg said the 47 newly constructed and rehabilitated health structures, justified good news in relation to one of the major development challenges of Sierra Leone, which is the health of mothers and young children.
He said the EU program has worked on making sure that the targeted beneficiaries got better access to essential health care and that the quality of services improved immensely. “Combined with strengthening the Ministry’s capacities we hope that our support will have lasting effect and continue to save the lives of mothers and children,” he noted.
Officially inaugurating the 47 newly constructed and rehabilitated health structures across 11 districts in the country, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma said the infrastructure and equipment investments in district hospitals, health centers, and health posts, will potentially benefit 1.25 million women of child-bearing age and 676,000 children under five.
“When we improve on the health sector all other things will improve and that is why we are attaching so much importance to it and this is our program and we are committed to it,” President Koroma noted.
He called communities to always ensure they monitor process and make sure that the drugs are not sold, and should be stored safely; while thanking EU for the support and also UNICEF for facilitating the work.
The work includes the completion of upgraded medical stores, which will help store Free Health Care and other health and nutrition supplies, new maternity and pediatric wards, and improved staff quarters.