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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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    WHO and MoHS conclude quarterly review of 2022-2023 workplan, and discuss priorities for new Country Cooperation Strategy

    The World Health Organization Country Office in Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation have completed a 3-day quarterly meeting in Freetown to jointly review progress of the 2022-2023 Biennial Workplan implementation. The health officials also initiated discussions for priority setting for the next biennium 2024-2025.

    The retreat attracted the participation of directors, Managers and technical officers of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, who together with their counterpart in WHO evaluated the implementation status of the key priorities of the 2022-2023 biennial workplan that were jointly developed by the two entities in October 2021. The retreat was also an opportunity to review the achievements and challenges encountered during the implementation of the Country Cooperation Strategy 2017-2022 and identify priorities for the new one being developed.

    While making his opening statement, Dr Steven Shongwe, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone emphasized that the intent and purpose of the exercise were not just to review and develop new documents, but to focus on accelerating implementation of national health priorities to improve the health of the population in Sierra Leone.

    “I must say that we have no shortage of strategic policy documents. However, what we need together – WHO, MOHS and Partners – is to accelerate implementation of these policies to achieve the goal and vision that have been set in the National Health Sector Strategic Plan, that ‘All people in Sierra Leone have access to affordable quality health care services and health security without suffering undue financial hardship’. Our regular engagements, like this one, is an opportunity for us to evaluate progress, identify gaps to improve our interventions in line with the national health priorities”, said Dr. Shongwe. He further said the Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) will be aligned with the current WHO General Programme of Work (GPW13) and that it will be informed by the national strategic documents. The CCS, he said, will articulate how WHO will support the government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to achieve national priorities and objectives.

    In his remarks, Dr. Mustapha S. Kabba, Deputy Chief Medical Officer – Clinical Services of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, stressed the need for the continued partnership and joint planning for a common goal. “I cannot stress enough how important it is  for us to improve the status of our hospitals. That’s why I am calling on our partners in development and organizations to focus on the secondary and tertiary hospitals” said Dr. Kabba. He also reiterated that the MoHS priority is focused on Implementing the Life Stages Model of Service Delivery approach. 

    The retreat featured several presentations including on the achievements and priorities of the Ministry of health and Sanitation; priority diseases, conditions and events; the SDG, GPW13 outcome indicators and KPIs, procedures in WHO finances and operations, resources management and administration; as well as on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PRSEAH). The PRSEAH is a zero tolerance policy at WHO for any form of sexual misconduct by its workforce which the Organization is also promulgating to its partners including government counterparts and other agencies or organizations that implement activities with funds provided by or through WHO. The five focus areas for GPW13 extension were presented and guided the discussions on the priority areas which WHO and MoHS partnership will focus on during the two additional years of the extended GPW13.

    At the end of the  three days deliberations, a list of priority outputs and recommendations for the 2024-2025 biennial workplan were proposed for the consideration of the leadership of WHO Country Office and the MoHS.

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