Dec 20, 2017

Sierra Leone adopts 5 year strategy to reduce maternal mortality

AUTHOR:Ministry of HealthSOURCE:Ministry of Health

Ariel Levy's New Yorker 'A Reporter at Large' article ( on Ophelia Dahl and the work of Partners in Health in several countries, i.e. Haiti, Rwanda and especially Sierra Leone is described in detail. One should appreciate that health systems require inter alia, strong political will, good stewardship and good governance to function well. In addition, fixing broken systems is more difficult than building a health system from scratch. The genocide left Rwanda without a health system/structure in place while in Haiti and Sierra Leone, their health systems are broken and failing, albeit, sustaining earthquakes and an Ebola outbreak respectively. It is known that maternal mortality is the key indicator which reflects how well a health system functions anywhere in the world (the US has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country in the world). While a vertical approach that focuses on a single disease, i.e., TB, HIV/AIDS, malaria will reduce deaths, a horizontal/integrated approach will strengthen an existing health system since it is holistic and comprehensive in scope. The Ministry of Health of Sierra Leone has adopted this strategy.

Did you know?

Every year, more than one million children are left motherless and vulnerable because of maternal death.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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