Minister of Health and Sanitation Austin Demby has shared Sierra Leone’s experience with health and climate change at COP28, the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Demby made his presentation during a panel organized by the Global Financing Facility (GFF) and the World Bank. The panel focused on the role of green medical solutions in addressing the health impacts of climate change.

Demby highlighted Sierra Leone’s efforts to improve access to healthcare through solarization of health facilities, strengthening the public health agency, promoting mental health, and enhancing health financing.

He also commended President Julius Maada Bio for his leadership in addressing neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) at COP28. Sierra Leone raised $777 million to fight NTDs, such as onchocercaliasis and trypanosomiasis.

“Salone joined the ranks as a donor and a beneficiary,” Demby said. “The world applauds Salone.”

Demby also called for increased investment in climate-resilient healthcare systems. “We need to invest in technologies and infrastructure to protect health systems from the impacts of climate change,” he said.

He added that Sierra Leone is committed to working with partners to address the health challenges posed by climate change. “We are confident that, through collaboration and innovation, we can build a more resilient and equitable health system for all Sierra Leoneans,” Demby said.

The presentation was met with great applause from the audience, which included representatives from governments, international organizations, and civil society.