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Hilary Clinton lauds Sierra Leone President’s Free Health Care
Jun 11, 2012, 12:16
Freetown, June 7 (SLENA): Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton, has applauded Sierra Leone’s Free Health Care Initiative at the Global Health and Gender Equality, Women’s and Children’s rights and Health meeting in Oslo, Norway.
Commending the Government of Sierra Leone while delivering her speech on the theme: “World in Transition-Charting a New Path in Global Health”, the Secretary of State described the Sierra Leone’s situation as an experience sharing for growth and development as well as for women and their families to have access to the range of care they needed.
The US scribe made this commendation after listening to the keynote address of Health and Sanitation Minister, Zainab Hawa Bangura during the Oslo meeting.
Hilary Clinton said Norway has been a leader in global health, pointing out the direct links between gender-based violence and health and described the leadership of President Koroma as the kind of leadership that addresses the legal, social and cultural barriers that initiate women’s access to care, such as gender-based violence, lack of education and the low states of women and girls in building a healthy society.
A Photo-Scene from an officially released White House (WH.GOV) video showing President Barack Obama standing up to welcome President Ernest Bai Koroma to the High Table for eminent Presidents. President Koroma enjoys world wide respect for many reasons including his Free Health Care Initiative for Pregnant Women, Lactating Mothers and Children under 5 years
The Secretary of State told her audience that it is an unfortunate reality that women often face great health disparities, pointing out that women’s health means more than just maternal health, stressing the need to improve women’s health more generally.
Hilary Clinton reiterated President Koroma’s country ownership of health, noting that it is the end state where a nation’s efforts are led, implemented, and paid for by its government, with support from communities, civil society and the private sector. The women of Sierra Leone, the Secretary of State said, demonstrated accountability when they lined up in front of the Sierra Leone Parliament, and encouraged Health and Sanitation Minister to keep up the good work though with the challenges highlighted.
Health and Sanitation Minister, Zainab Hawa Bangura in her keynote address, spoke on the success stories of the free health care, human resource capacity, construction of Pediatric and maternal hospitals across the country, efforts to improve on the brain drain in the medical profession, the challenges ahead and government’s efforts at providing affordable and accessible quality health care throughout the country.
The Minister was applauded occasionally by the audience and by Clinton as she dilated on government’s effort in introducing the Free Health Care in 2010.
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