Sunday, March 02, 2008

Reflection on launching of Child Health plan by President of Sierra Leone...

"A newborn in Sierra Leone has the lowest chance in the world of surviving until age 5. In 2006, the latest year for which statistics were available, Sierra Leone had the highest child mortality rate, with 270 deaths per 1,000 births."

This past Friday I went to a launching held at the Bintumani Hotel here in Freetown. There was a whole variety of people represented; the President, various Ministers, UNICEF, DFID, WHO, EU, Irish Aid, various NGO’s, press, etc.

This day marked a crucial moment; the launching of the National Reproductive and Child Health Strategic Plan for 2008-2010. Basically, it meant that all parties recognized and openly acknowledged that Sierra Leone is at the bottom of the list on the Human Development Index, with the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. It was humbling to hear the Minister of Health admit that Sierra Leone is in the spotlight because of its horrific figures; to admit that the healthcare in this country is poor. It was encouraging to hear the earnest desire for change.

All parties pledged to address maternal and child health in such a way so that we would see a dramatic change in the health of Salone’s women and children. The Millennium Development Goals were mentioned over and over. They will only be reached if something in this country changes. “We as government have the responsibility to lift ourselves from the bottom of the Human Development Index”, said President Koroma. As a woman from DFID stated: “It is no longer business as usual. Business as usual is not enough. It is not bringing about change. We all need to get our acts together and work together if we want to meet these goals.”

So, as interesting as the meeting was, it’s now left to all parties to implement the plan. And only time will tell how successful this plan is! For the sake of the women and children, I pray that change will come about sooner rather than later...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Sandra,
I heard about you from family Smith in Tanzania and read something on your blog.
We're on a DTS from YWAM in South-Africa and we will come to Sierra Leone for our outreacht. We're still searching for possibilities to serve the coutry. So maybe we can get in contact with you. We would like to ask you if you have some ideas for us. My email is;
It would be great to hear something of you.

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~