From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

UNFPA Representative and Vice President of Sierra Leone discuss Free Health Care Service
Dec 29, 2009, 17:14

News Release

15 December 2009


UNFPA Representative Ratidzai Ndlovu and Vice-President Alhaji Sam Sumana

Meet to Discuss Free Health Care


UNFPA, Freetown - The UNFPA Representative, Ratidzai Ndlovu, paid a courtesy call on the Vice-President of Sierra Leone Alhaji Sam Sumana on 15 December 2009, to discuss plans for the realization of the Presidents initiative to launch free health care services nationwide, to pregnant women and lactating mothers as well as children under five on April 27, 2010.


Mrs. Ndlovu presented the UNFPA mission in Sierra Leone which is womens reproductive health, particularly the reduction of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.  She outlined the UNFPAs plans for support and collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone to launch the Free Healthcare Services Initiative for pregnant and lactating women and young children scheduled for April of next year.


Highlighted by Mrs. Ndlovu were UNFPA procurement of drugs, upgrading of twenty-five healthcare facilities, and provision of additional health care workers at district level for a short term.  Mrs. Ndlovu also pledged UNFPA support to the Ministry of Health, especially in its efforts to develop a consolidation plan for the free health care initiative that would guide the work of the Ministry and development partners support to it. 


In reply, the Vice-President Alhaji Sam Sumana expressed his appreciation to Mrs. Ndlovu for the visit, and UNFPAs support for the Presidents Free Health Care Services Initiative. He then informed the UNFPA Representative of the governments efforts to strengthen the Ministry of Health in preparation for the nationwide free health care service, which oversight he had been given.  He informed her of his initiating the development of one health plan that would highlight all aspects of ministerial administration.  On the issue of the high rate of maternal mortality in Sierra Leone, Vice-President Alhaji Sam Sumana remarked on the countrys need for a vector service in the districts where poor sanitation was a primary cause of the spread of malaria that often mortally affected the health of pregnant women. 


At the close of the meeting, Alhaji Sam Sumana introduced Mrs. Ndlovu to Dr. Komba Kono the newly appointed Minister of State to his office. 


UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.


Contact for more information:

UNFPA Communications Office


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