US$9.5 Million Grant for School of Midwifery

By Mohamed Konneh

For the next five years the Sierra Leone school of midwifery will benefits from a US$ 9.5 Million grant from the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), an agency of the US Department of health and human services. The group this week visited Sierra Leone to understand how their investment through the resilient and responsive health Systems initiative is affecting the Sierra Leone health systems.

On May 16th 2018, accompany  by officials of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation attended a ribbon cutting for the new skills lab at the national School of midwifery with the US Ambassador to Sierra Leone and other designated invitees.

Addressing the delegation earlier at the Ministry of Health and sanitation conference Room, the Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Alpha Wurie said the US$ 9.5 Million is huge support. The service of nurses in the country is so important but we still do not have the required number to mann all the health facilities across the country. The nurses are the critical component of the health sector and the need for the decentralization to work effectively.

The need to upgrade our midwives remains critical and this is why we welcome this kind of support. Before this time new districts have been created and the need to extend same facilities to them also.

The minister said the key thing in all of these support remains the equipment to the do the work because even if the nurse or health worker is trained adequately without right equipment much will not be done.

We also need to pay attention to remote area allowances though this will take time but the ministry should be able to do it in the near future.

In her welcome address earlier the Chief Nursing Officer at the Ministry of Health Hossinatu Koroma, said in Sierra Leone HRSA is administering the resilient and Response Health Systems Initiative a five year PERFAR funded project contributing to the strengthening of the health sector in Sierra Leone. HRSA’s partner Global Health Action (ICAP) is also administrating a companion Resilient and responsive health generation initiative.  The aim is to provide leadership, management and other capacity building for same health sector partners. The two initiatives are being implemented collaboratively by ICAP and JSI coordination by HRSA, she said.

She said the specific focal area agreed upon by the government of Sierra Leone and other stakeholders include achieving improved maternal health and HIV outcomes through strengthened midwifery pre-service education.

It is also to collaborate with other donors to enhance educational resources at the University of Sierra Leone, college of Medicines and Allied Health Sciences to support improvement in the quality and quantity of nursing graduates.

Collaborate with the ministry of health and sanitation to develop and implement a formal continuing professional development program for nurses and midwifes to improve their clinical competence to support job satisfaction and intention, and to create a platform for advancing national health priorities, readiness and resilience, she said.


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