As part of the planning process, a major workshop was held at the Sierra Lighthouse Hotel in Freetown, drawing together participants from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, health workers and development partners. Through the meeting, participants were introduced to the objectives of the network, reviewed the maternal, newborn and child health standards, and were introduced to the quality of care indicators, targets and models for implementation.
To implement this ambitious agenda, the Ministry is in the process of establishing a dedicated Secretariat for the Network under the leadership of the Chief Medical Officer. It is also establishing a technical working group and steering committee, and selecting learning sites where specific Quality of Care investments will be targeted. Further to this, a Quality of Care policy and strategy, tools, manuals and standards are being developed with the support of WHO and other UN partners.
Improving quality of health services is a critical part of the agenda for saving lives in Sierra Leone, and achieving ‘Health for All’. With assistance from the UK Government, WHO is prioritizing efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of maternal and child health services, reduce delays and barriers to access, and throughout the lifecycle, to support timely, appropriate care, with a particular focus on reducing preventable deaths of women and children.