Freetown, Mar. 4, 016 (MOHS) - The Ministry of Health and Sanitation with support from the World Bank will be having a Consultative Meeting with Paramount Chiefs, councilors and other stakeholders in Kenema on Monday March 7, 2016 for the establishment of a National Emergency Medical Service. Participants will be drawn from Kailahun, Kono and Kenema.
The Ministry, with the development of some designed parameters that provides the framework for the establishment of a comprehensive service system seeks to solicit the input of participants to help finalize the design of the proposed system.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation plans to increase access to emergency medical care to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five as part of the Ministry’s effort to implement President Koroma’s priority to reduce maternal and child mortality under the 10-24 months plan of the nation’s Post-Ebola Recovery.
Also, the Ministry will extend pre-hospital care and emergency transportation to the wider population through a service that will include call center, dispatch, efficient management of the ambulance fleet to ensure longevity improvement of the Emergency Unit at regional hospitals, and key barriers preventing mothers and children under 5 from accessing healthcare, cost and access to health care facilities. Note that the Government of Sierra Leone launched the Free Health Care Initiative in all government health facilities on April 27, 2010, making health care free for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five and the Ministry made available ambulances in all the districts to ensure access to emergency transportation for the same category of beneficiaries of the Free Health Care Initiative.
In a related development, the Ministry noted that the country implemented a systematic Sanitary Inspection Programme that ensured a clean and safe environment through premises inspection, health education sensitization and enforcement of sanitary regulations. This practice unfortunately discontinued due to challenges faced the country over the years.
The recent Ebola epidemic outbreak, which followed a cholera outbreak two years earlier, makes it necessary to ensure that environmental health and sanitation is given high priority.
Reviving the Expanded Sanitary Inspection Compliance and Enforcement programme (ESICOME) is one way of ensuring that issues related to environment health and sanitation are put back at the top of the country’s development agenda.
Similar meetings would be held in Bo, Makeni and the Western Area.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.