The Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, has told health workers and partners in Sierra Leone that in the last couple of years, Sierra Leone has continued to make steady progress in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, from 1360,000 to 717 death per 100,000 life birth for mothers and 156 to 122, which he described as modest progress.

The Vice President was speaking at an event organized by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, in collaboration with UNITE consortium at the conference room of Country Lodge Hotel, Freetown, on Thursday 31st March 2022.

Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh lauded the sponsors of UNITE consortium for complementing government’s effort in the health sector, adding that he feels very proud to talk about the successes and learnings of the ‘Saving Lives In Sierra Leone Program’ “unite fo sev lyaf na salone”.

“I want you to know that if you organize any event that talks about maternal and infant health, even if it is on an island or anywhere in this country, I will go there if you invite me” VP Juldeh Jalloh assured Health Partners.

According to VP Juldeh, two years ago, he was invited to formally launch a universal health coverage road map project that was designed essentially to improve and enhance access to healthcare services and since then government has continued to take bold steps to support healthcare delivery in the country. He added that since 2018, Government has gradually increased the budget to 11.2%, which has enhanced support to healthcare delivery.

Dr. Jalloh also noted that government is gradually taking over the national emergency medical service, on which it has spent 40 billion Leones in support, adding that Government is involved in building and refurbishing healthcare infrastructure, citing the special baby care units and ICUs across the country.

“In the past four years we have doubled the number of healthcare staff in the country and are continuing to recruit more. We also continue to invest in the training of Doctors to ensure adequate service delivery in the health system” he averred.

The Vice President revealed that government budgeted about 5 billion Leones for nutrition under the Scaling Up Nutrition Program, this year, in a bid to supporting pregnant women and under-fives in order to improve their nutritional status.

Vice President Juldeh Jalloh also mentioned that government is making tremendous efforts to ensure the governance area of the healthcare delivery system is properly structured with the appropriate human resources to provide the required results. He added that particular focus will be on technical experts including biomedical engineers, technicians and oxygen mechanics, amongst others.

In his conclusion, he commended UNITE consortium for their integrated strategic approach in supporting the healthcare delivery system and for providing the platform for health workers in Sierra Leone to discuss reproductive, child and adolescent healthcare, and reaffirmed government’s commitment to improving maternal and neonatal and infant healthcare in the country.