DPPI Holds National Health Accounts 2013 Validation Workshop

Freetown, Dec 2, 2014 (MOHS) – The Directorate of Policy, Planning and Information, Ministry of Health and Sanitation has held a one-day National Health Accounts 2013 Validation Workshop at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown.

TueDeputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sarian Kamara delivering her remarks

Delivering her opening remarks, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sarian Kamara said the workshop was to validate the 2013 National Health Accounts as they strive to provide equitable, affordable and quality health services for all Sierra Leoneans.

She reminded her audience that the major driver of most interventions in the health sector is financial resources, adding that priority is given where money is channeled, and to where priorities are laid. She added that the ability to track the flow of money in the health sector is fundamental to improve accountability to citizens.

Dr. Sarian Kamara opined that the Health Accounts Survey implies an annual accounting process geared towards tracking and compiling health expenditure flows in the country. She described it as a tool for health sector management and policy development that measures total public, private and donor health expenditures, adding that it tracks all expenditure flows from sources of funds to financing agents, service providers and public health functions.

She told participants that their contributions and proactive input in the workshop can offer future direction and completeness of the National Health Accounts 2013 Report and contribute to the Post-Ebola Strategy.

The Director, Policy, Planning and Information, Mr. Abu Bakarr Kamara reiterated that the National Health Accounts is an additional tool used to track all expenditures on health by the public and private sectors and development partners.

He said the validation aimed at looking into the preliminary results of the National Health Accounts 2013, give recommendations to guide and develop a robust health financial strategy in Sierra Leone.

Giving an overview of the Preliminary results, the Health Economist, Health Financing Unit, Noemi Schramm said the Total Health Expenditure 2013 was over Le.3 trillion, which equals about USD 720 million.

This, she said means that each Sierra Leonean consumed health service valued nearly Le.500,000 in 2013 on health, about USD 116.

Noemi Schramm informed participants that with the disease burden, most of the money was spent on reproductive health and malaria.

Speaking on the trend, Health Economist, Desmond Conteh disclosed that the Total Health Expenditure increased over the last years, with a reduction on Donors’ share.

Dilating on the disease burden, Health Economist Mohamed Kamara told participants that most prevalent diseases are malaria, common cold, and pregnancy-related complication.

Mr. Kamara disclosed that 68 percent of the population that were sick got medical help but unable to continue their usual daily activities, adding that only 2 percent of people were admitted to a hospital in the last four weeks. The overall, 1.4 percent, he said, report some sort of disability.

Suggestions, comments and recommendations formed high points of the workshop.