The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on 3rd March 2023, hosted a team from the Embassy of Japan in Ghana to review the progress of a joint initiative on building resilience for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and improving infection prevention and control at targeted health facilities in Sierra Leone.

The initiative is funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNFPA and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

The visiting team included Mr. Akihisa Katsumura, First Secretary for Development Cooperation, and Mr. Tetsuya Imaoka, Coordinator for Economic Cooperation, Embassy of Japan in Ghana.

Welcoming the team, UNFPA Deputy Representative, Ms. Sibeso Mululuma said the visit was an opportunity to not only showcase UNFPA’s work in partnership with the Government of Japan but to also further strengthen the existing collaboration and scale up interventions.

Ms. Mululuma added that the partnership is supporting the Government of Sierra Leone to achieve its development aspirations, including promoting universal access to SRH services.

The team visited the King Harman Road Hospital, one of the health facilities receiving support from the Japan-funded project. UNFPA also provides support to the hospital in improving access to life-saving quality maternal and newborn health services and other SRH services.

Medical Superintendent of the facility, Dr. Amadu Bah highlighted key outcomes of the joint initiative and applauded the efforts of UNFPA, the Government of Japan, and other partners in supporting the provision of critical SRH services in the health facility.

Reflecting on the visit, Mr. Tetsuya Imaoka, said: “I have been looking forward to visiting UNFPA’s field sites in Sierra Leone. My meetings with UNFPA staff and the visit to the hospital have been very valuable in improving our understanding of the challenges facing Sierra Leone’s health system and how we are contributing to improving healthcare through this initiative.”

Support received by King Harman Road Hospital under the Japanese-funded project includes the procurement of medical equipment, support to the functioning of a one-stop center for responding to sexual and gender-based violence, and training of medical personnel.