Disease Outbreak News

Sierra Leone Launches Integrated Maternal and Child Health Interventions

A child receiving a dose of polio vaccine
A child receiving a dose of polio vaccine

Sierra Leone launched the first round 2013 polio immunization campaign on 24 January 2013 in Moyamba District. This was integrated with the Maternal and Child Health Week (MCHW) Campaign The event was launched by Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah, Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation (MoHS). In his address Dr Fofanah stated that scaling up of maternal and child health services is a high priority on the government’s agenda. He urged the full participation of stakeholders for a successful outcome of the campaign. “A purposeful individual and collective effort is required to ensure increased service utilization during this campaign and routine services” he added.

Various health interventions were put on display during a health fare at the launch by MoHS and partners. The occasion attracted the participa-tion of senior officials of MoHS and line ministries, health partners, the local councils, traditional and religious leaders, UN agencies, the civil society and community members. Health education messages and free health services were offered during the event.

The campaign will end on 28 January 2013. During this period an estimated 1.4 million children less than 5 years and about 300,000 pregnant women will receive life saving interventions including Oral Polio Vaccine, Vitamin A supplementation, deworming tablets, defaulter tracing of children less than one year for routine vaccines and referral of defaulters to health facilities to receive vaccines they missed, as well as referral of pregnant women for HIV counseling and testing in order to detect HIV early and commence treatment to help reduce mother to child transmission of the disease. Health workers and vaccinators will go house to house to reach the targeted beneficiaries.

MoHS and partners including the UN, NGOs and the civil society reaffirmed their commitments to polio eradication and maternal child health interventions in the country. In his statement on behalf of the UN Family, Mr Roland Monash, UNICEF Representative acknowledged the gains in the country’s health sector, stating that with a joint effort in a campaign of this nature and other health interventions, “we can manage to improve the health situation of children and women”.

MCHW is conducted twice yearly in sierra Leone with the support of WHO, UNICEF and other health partners. The aim is to reach a targeted women and child with lifesaving interventions.

 Sierra Leone Launches Integrated Maternal and Child Health Week Campaign (1021.9 kB)