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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, First Lady Becomes Member of West African College of Nursing
By Aruna Turay
Oct 23, 2009, 17:30
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The West African College of Nursing (WACN) has awarded Honorary Membership to the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma was robed with a black and white gown, by a team of senior nurses from the WACN.

The colourful ceremony was held on Thursday 22nd October 2009 in the Conference Hall of the Presidential Lodge, Hill Station in Freetown.

L-R Ex-President Rev. Mrs. K G Betts-Cole, First Lady and 1st Vice President Francesca A Vandy

In her statement, Chairperson of the West African College of Nursing, Sierra Leone Chapter, Mrs. Amelia Eva Gabba, congratulated the First Lady and the Sierra Leone Chapter of WACN for ensuring that the robbing ceremony was held in Freetown, where the First Lady is residing.

In the past, she noted, the College robed First Ladies in different countries in the sub region, but not in their countries of resident. She clarified that this is the first time also in the history of the college that a First Lady has fulfilled the requirements and conditions as prescribed by the Colleges constitution for admission.

First Lady and wife of Vice President pose with WACN members

Chairman Gabba informed that at the first African Commonwealth Nurses Seminar held in Ghana in January 1974, the Nurses stressed on the need for more contact and collaboration among Nurses in the sub-region; the formation of the West Africa Branch of the Federation and; the need to mobilize resources for the improvement and advancement of Nursing in Totality.

"In May 1977, there was a meeting for Nurse Administrators from five member countries of the College and the objective was to discuss Nursing Education which was followed by visits to Nursing Institutions in the member countries," she explained. Each of the five member countries, she continued, has a National Chapter and Constituent Faculties in five priority areas including community health nursing, maternal and child health, psychiatric and mental health nursing, medical and surgical nursing and administration management and education.

Responding, Sierra Leones First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma expressed appreciation to the college for honoring her in such a manner. "By this single honour, my commitment to continue complimenting governments effort to provide safer health for the people of this country has been strengthened," she pointed out.

She disclosed that: "Top on my agenda for the recovery of Sierra Leone is health. Against this background, I have been using the profile of my office to advocate for the drastic reduction of the high incidences of maternal deaths".

Mrs. Koroma revealed that she had a personal commitment to do all humanly possible to make the goal of reducing maternal mortality to 30% by 2012. "To meet this goal, my office has designed the Women Initiative for Safer Health (WISH) to improve womens reproductive health, which strategies are based on interventions designed according to the needs of communities to bring down the unacceptable very high maternal and child mortality and morbidity," First Lady Koroma said.

She furthered that her office has also held consultations with practitioners, professional development workers, international and local non governmental organisations, and various communities, on the issue under review.

She thanked the United Nations family, especially the UNFPA, for the support given to the initiative to reduce maternal mortality.

Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Kadia Sam Sumana, thanked the College for giving such a remarkable award to the First Lady of Sierra Leone, whilst assuring the executive that as far as her knowledge and experience with the First Lady goes, the College will never regret giving the award to her.


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