The Advancing Partners & Communities Project in Sierra Leone Officially Launches Its Work in Tonkolili District

April 21, 2016
Photo of the launch ceremony in Tonkolili

Magburaka, Sierra Leone: The Advancing Partners & Communities project Strengthening Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Services, a collaborative effort between the Government of Sierra Leone, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), launched on April 19th as part of the Post-Ebola Health Sector Recovery in Tonkolili District.

The Advancing Partners & Communities project goal is to reduce the high rates of neonatal, under-five, and maternal mortality in the country. Its interventions will focus on increasing the capacity of the health workforce and community platforms to provide high-quality reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) services, in line with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation's (MOHS) infection prevention control (IPC) and water sanitation and hygiene guidelines. More than USD 1.7 million will be invested in Tonkolili's primary care and community health services to enhance quality, safety, and access to health services in 72 community health facilities. The project expects to train and support more than 400 health professionals and community health workers in a range of RMNCH and IPC topics, and will renovate 20 health facilities, provide delivery kits and other medical equipment, and improvement in water supply through borehole drilling and repairing of existing wells.

Photo of the crowd at the launch ceremony in Tonkolili

At the launch ceremony, representatives from ADRA presented an overview of project activities, key results from the baseline assessment, intended timelines and targets, and how the project is supporting the Government and the district's post-Ebola plans for rebuilding the health system. In his opening speech, the MOHS Directorate of Primary Health Care called community health workers the most important point of contact for strengthening health services and educating community members about transmission, prevention, and identification of signs of infectious diseases.

Paramount chiefs and council members acknowledged their appreciation of USAID's support, including infection prevention control training and the construction of temporary isolation facilities, during the Ebola outbreak and the last flare-up in February.

In Sierra Leone, the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities project is implemented in five districts through a partnership of national and international organizations led by JSI and FHI 360, in collaboration with Action Contre le Faim, ADRA, GOAL, International Medical Corps, and Save the Children. ADRA is the implementing partner in Tonkolili District.