Concord Times (Freetown)

12 February 2013

Sierra Leone: 24 Million Euros to Boost Health Sector in Salone

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Mothers in a waiting room at a clinic in Sierra Rutile area, 250 km from Freetown.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation has received a 24.2 million euros grant from the European Union (EU) through UNICEF to boost the health sector in the country.

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony yesterday at the EU head office, Leicester in western Freetown, Jean-Pierre Reymondet-Commoy- head of the EU delegation in Sierra Leone - said: "The aim of this grant is to support the government of Sierra Leone to accelerate progress towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 and to drastically reduce maternal and child mortality in Sierra Leone by 2015."

UNICEF country representative in Sierra Leone, Roeland Monasch, said the 24.2 million euros grant is a three-year project to support government's on-going efforts to improve health care for the people of Sierra Leone, especially women and children. "I am particularly happy that the government has renewed its promise to make child and maternal health a priority also in its new poverty reduction plan, the Agenda for Prosperity," said Monasch. In her statement,the Minister of Health and Sanitation, MiattaKargbo, said the donation would help strengthen the activitiesof her ministry,noting that the free health care was launched sometime in 2012 by President Koroma for pregnant women, children under five and lactating mothers.

"But this is not enough for the government to ensure that sieves are provided as desired. We are very happy with all the efforts made by our donor partners. We hope this money is going to be used in the right way," said Madam Kargbo. Moreover, the grant will also be used to support the government's on-going efforts to increase access and utilisation of essential health services through training of health workers and rehabilitation of health facilities in the country. Health services, treating malnutrition and HIV/AIDS will be improved through training and provision of the necessary supplies.

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