By: Elizabeth Campbell (Nee Alie-Blango)
The Health sector after 2018 has jumped up in recent months to an enviable sector all kudos should go to the New Direction who in their quest to transformed the health sector has done immensely good which has implored all Sierra Leoneans to have confidence in the Ministry of Health once again.
President Julius Maada Bio, with an innovative drive has to transform the health sector into a digitalize health information system , the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Directorate of Science and Innovation and a Non Governmental Organisation Living Goods have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost the health sector.
President Julius Maada Bio in his address to Parliament explicitly explains that he is pleased to report that for the third successive year, his Government has increased healthcare budget allocations from 7% in 2018 to 10.5% in 2019 and 11% in 2020.
“We have recruited 2,500 healthcare workers and we will be hiring 3,000 more in 2020 with a focus on Midwives, Pharmacists and Pharmacy technicians, Epidemiologists, Clinical and Surgical Community Health Officers.
His Excellency furthered explained that his government has instituted continuing education for nursing professionals and also reviewed compensation for healthcare workers right across the country.
Also, in line with his commitment to establishing an ultra-modern diagnostic facility in Sierra Leone, the President says he is pleased to announce to Sierra Leoneans that Cabinet has approved $19.8 Million for the construction of a National Diagnostic and Radiotherapy Cancer Treatment Centre with modern facilities.
“This will substantially reduce costs on our overseas medical expenditure and broaden access to more Sierra Leoneans.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, my Government rapidly activated all Emergency Operations Centre pillars by instituting international best practices in contact tracing and surveillance.
“We have deployed science, technology, and innovation in data and call collection, including a telephone based self-diagnostic tool. Other healthcare directives have helped us largely curtail and protect against large scale community infection of COVID-19. These are all some of the gains made by the New Direction government in the past 24months.
Also, with an innovative drive to transform the health sector into a digitalize health information system , the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Directorate of Science and Innovation and a Non Governmental Organisation Living Goods have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost the health sector.
The purpose of this initiative is to reduce mortality through the effective use of technology to generate data for surveillance and case management,
The Directorate of Science and Innovation a Non Governmental Organisation Living Goods have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to roll out the plan. The Chief Medical Officer of Sierra Leone Rev. Canon Dr. Thomas Samba maintained that in post ebola era the health sector is working towards transformation of the sector to be more effective and responsive through available information technology to improve on quality service delivery across the country.
Digital technology is an integral part of Sierra Leone national Covid-19 preparedness response plan 2020. Since they launched it in April the ICT pillar has developed and roll out sms for self check and public information dissemination and E-pass for travel management.
Selected members of the national community health workers programme of about 17,800 strong personnel are currently providing preventive diagnostic treatment and referral services in their communities with the support of digital tools.
Through this partnership community health workers will be empowered with early detection, tracking and escalation of case outbreaks through the effective use of technology in the community to the national level for timely action and improve service delivery.
The country Director of living goods Alhassan Bah said that his organization will collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other key stakeholders to conduct situational analysis of Sierra Leone Covid-19 response and detail user requirements that will be used to support Emergency Operation Center with visualisation and analytics and to work with Dimagi to develop and roll out of user digital surveillance and case management applications .
Sierra Leone health sector has made significant progress since the Ebola outbreak in 2014 but the ongoing global pandemic is threatening those gains made so far.
Living Goods is a Non- profit, Non – Governmental Organisation that empowers community health workers through digitalize health information system to deliver services on call making it easy for families in need to access quality and cost effective health care services.
Living Goods has since 2019 supported over 10,000 Community Health Workers on service delivery.