Concern Worldwide Innovation for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative on Tuesday 15th June 2010 ended a maternal mortality competition dubbed ĎEveryone can Save a Lifeí at Hotel Bamoi in western Freetown.
Giving an overview of the competition, the Country Manager for the initiative Mr. Ramesh Puri stated that more than 2,500 (Two thousand five hundred) people submitted entries early this year. He said in February this year Concern Worldwide in radio and other outreach programmes asked Sierra Leoneans to share their ideas based on a specific challenge-improving the performance, attitudes and working conditions of health workers in Sierra Leone. "The responses to our call for ideas were overwhelming and we were thrilled by the quantity and quality of ideas submitted," he noted, adding that out of the 2,500 submissions 28 ideas were presented for the semi-finals in May. "After further screening, seven of those ideas were chosen for the final competition which took place at Hotel Barmoi," he disclosed.
Mr. Puri said the evaluation was done by a panel of five judges, which included a local entrepreneur, health specialist and an international development expert who carefully selected three candidates as winners based on the cogency of their ideas. He disclosed that those chosen will be further developed for potential implementation at district levels for a period of 18 months where each winner will be invited to be involved as his idea is piloted.
Concern Worldwide Country Director, Mr. Sospeter Baitwa said the initiative was all geared towards empowering people from all walks of life to share their ideas to solve critical problems that mothers and young children face in the health sector. He noted that as these winning ideas move from concept to reality, their organization will make every effort to contribute to the Government of Sierra Leoneís efforts to save the lives of mothers and children. He too expressed satisfaction over the responses to their competition. "It has been so amazing and this has contributed positively to the community and national dialogue on such an important issue."
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.