Freetown, Jul. 3, 2015 (MOHS) – The President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has urged all health development implementing partners to adhere to the provisions in the newly launched Ministry of Health and Sanitation Health Sector Service Level Agreement.
Launching the Service Level Agreement (SLA) on Friday July 3, 2015 at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown, President Koroma described the occasion as a historic moment in Sierra Leone, and an initiative that would ensure transparency and accountability. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, President Koroma said has the capacity to handle transparency and accountability, adding that the implementation of the SLA means there is “no business as usual”.
The lack of coordination among government and partners the President noted has been a big challenge, with the very many investments in the health sector not making the expected outcomes.
The high table from R-L: Health Advidor, Jason Lee, Dr. Ernest Surur, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Health Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, Local Government Minister, Diana Konomanyi and Head of DFID, Sally Taylor
The health sector the President observed before now was like a free playing field with everybody doing his own thing. This, President Koroma said must stop. He committed to give all his support to the successful implementation and sustainability of the initiative. “We have made progress with many players providing supports in the health sector: NGOs, Civil Society and the Local Government Ministry but why still not getting the desired effect”, the President lamented.
President Koroma expressed satisfaction with the current collaboration between the Ministry and its partners, and requested regular update to his office on the implementation of the Agreement.
Dilating on the Ebola outbreak, the President said even though we are recording zero cases, the six million (6,000,000) Sierra Leone population is still at risk, and as a nation until the last case is recorded we must not rest. We are not yet out of the road of the tragedy, he added. “My hope is that the spirit of commitment continues. The immediate focus is the health worker and patient safety”. “We now have a better undertaking than before and the capacity for effective service delivery for our people”, President Koroma told his audience.
Making his statement, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah commended his top management team and senior staff for working tirelessly towards the final completion of the SLA. All submissions he said were done at record time, adding that the whole process started with the Ministry’s Strategic Plan.
The implementation of activities remain unsatisfactory, partners not pleased with performances of some implementing partners and despite the efforts by the Ministry to get all players on board to provide effective service delivery in their operational areas, the situation still remain a challenge.
The Minister underscored the importance of the Ministry’s Basic Package of Essential Health Services at the primary, secondary and tertiary level, and three other vital instruments for effective service delivery which includes the recently launched Service Level Agreement, Cleaning of the Pay roll and the revised monitoring and evaluation frame work.
Representing the UN Country Team, Health Advisor, Jason Lee described the SLA as a tool that would promote transparency and accountability, help with the distribution and management of resources, and a step forward to address inefficiency.
Commenting on the Ebola outbreak, the Health Advisor called on the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and partners to review the complexity of getting into zero and lauded the Minister for his resourceful initiative.
Head of DFID, Sally Taylor reaffirmed her organization’s support to the SLA initiative describing it as a potential catalyst to manage productive operational activities.
Other highlights of the ceremony include statements by various speakers including the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Diana Konomanyi, presentation on the SLA by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo, and the Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service and Chairman for the occasion, Dr. Ernest Surur.
A skit on the SLA by Comedian Vamboi and team formed part of the ceremony.