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Advancing Partners & Communities Celebrates the Results of the Post-Ebola Recovery Efforts in Sierra Leone
Since 2015, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Advancing Partners & Communities project, implemented through JSI Research & Training Institute, has been collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to improve access to quality health services in Sierra Leone, during the post-Ebola recovery phase.
Advancing Partners & Communities held a celebration event on June 20, 2017 in Freetown, Sierra Leone to highlight the achievements of USAID’s largest primary health care investment in Sierra Leone. The U.S. Ambassador John Hoover participated in the event, with the Office of the President’s Chief of Staff, Saidu Conton Sesay. Over 200 people, ranging from peripheral health unit staff, DHMTs, beneficiaries, implementing partners, USAID and JSI, also attended the event.
“The United States has supported our Ebola-recovery efforts in a way that enables us to improve the quality of primary health care services—including infection prevention and control. All these improvements have improved facilities and human resource capacity, which will lead to better health outcomes for the people of Sierra Leone,” commented Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah. The President’s Chief of Staff, Saidu Conton Sesay, thanked the U.S. government and USAID for their partnership with the government and people of Sierra Leone, and for investing in the Advancing Partners & Communities project.
The Advancing Partners & Communities project revitalized more than 300 peripheral health units in five districts in Sierra Leone. The project improved water and sanitation, installed solar power systems, and trained more than 900 health professionals on reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and infection prevention and control practices. Nearly 1,500 community health workers (CHWs) were trained on the new in-service training manual and job aids from the revised CHW 2016-2020 policy that was launched in February 2017 with the project’s support.
The project also helped rebuild trust between the most affected communities and their health facilities by helping reactivate 214 facility management committees, which are led jointly by community members and health workers. Through all these efforts, two million Sierra Leoneans will receive improved primary health care.
Carolyn Hart, Vice President of the International Division at JSI, expressed delight at the level of support from district health management teams (DHMTs), health professionals and community stakeholders in making the project succeed. “You are the ones who really made this celebration possible. Without your skills and commitments, without your engagement and inputs, […] none of these would have succeeded and it certainly wouldn’t be sustainable…,” she said.
The event and the project's achievements were covered by a number of media outlets, including—
Check out some photos from the celebration event!