Freetown, Nov. 16, 2015 (MOHS) – The Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with UNICEF and the Swedish National Committee on Saturday November 14, 2015 participated in the turning of the sod for the construction of an ultra-modern Maternal and Child Health Aide Training School in Waterloo estimated at $ 100,000 Dollar.
Making his statement at the ceremony, UNICEF Representative, Geoff Wiffin said the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Maternal and Child Health Aide Training School marks the start of a critical work to strengthen the health system in Sierra Leone which has been devastated by the Ebola epidemic.
He thanked the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) for their concerted efforts in the fight against the Ebola epidemic.
Geoff Wiffin reiterated UNICEF’s commitment in ensuring that the partnership with the Health Ministry provides quality human resources capacity that would make health care more meaningful to our women and new-born in Sierra Leone.
The construction of the MCH Aide School, he said will immensely contribute to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in meeting the challenges within the President’s Post Ebola recovery priorities.
The UNICEF Representative disclosed that construction work is expected to be completed by the end of the six months after which training will commence.
He acknowledge the contribution of the Swedish people who provided the funds for the construction of the MCH Aide school including the UK Aid, EU, US, the World Bank and the Irish Aid.
Responding, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah expressed appreciation to all the Ministry of health staff for the efforts put together in the fight to contain the Ebola virus disease in the country.
He commended Sierra Leoneans for putting aside regionalism, tribal sentiment, religion, tradition and culture in the fight to contain the Ebola to zero. This the minister said has shown to the world that we are united as a nation despite the political differences.
He reminded his audience that Sierra Leone before the Ebola outbreak had a track record as the fastest growing economy in the world by the international community, but that the Ebola shattered the economic gains made.
He said the President Koroma has committed himself for the next 2 years to see a rapid reduction in maternal and child deaths and as a Ministry they are poised in working towards his aspiration. Dr. Fofanah disclosed that one of the first projects of the ministry is the introduction of the National Ambulance Services.
He described the structure as the property of the people of waterloo and appealed to them to work in collaboration with the contractor to meet the completion deadline.
Giving a brief background of the project, the Chairman for the ceremony and Programme Manager, Child Health/Expanded Programme on Immunization, Dr. Dennis Marke said over the years government and the Ministry of Health have been training MCH Aides to work in remote areas rendering health services in deprived communities with support from UNICEF.
Other speakers include The Chairman Health Committee, Waterloo Rural Council, Councilor Saidu Kargbo and Councilor Fatmata Kamara of Ward 341.
Highlight of the ceremony include the turning of the sod by the Health Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, UNICEF Representative, Geoff Wiffin and Deputy Health Minister II, Madam Madina Rahman.