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Monday, April 15, 2024

Deputy Health Minister Presents Progress in Global Health Review at WHO

By Mohamed Sheriff, Information Attaché, Geneva, Switzerland

In a significant development at the World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Deputy Minister of Health 1, Professor Dr. Charles Senessie on Tuesday February 13, 2024 , showcased Sierra Leone’s commendable strides in combating both communicable and non-communicable diseases. This demonstration took place during the ongoing Universal Health and Preparedness Review (UHPR), a pivotal event aiming to strengthen national capacities for health emergencies and disaster preparedness.

The gathering, spanning from February 13 to February 14, has been pivotal in fostering intergovernmental dialogue among Member States. Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergency Programme, and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, delivered crucial statements during the launch of the global peer review, focusing on countries such as the Central African Republic and Portugal.

Sierra Leone, standing alongside Iraq, the Central African Republic, Thailand, and Portugal, expressed its dedication to finalizing the piloting cycle after successfully completing the national review phase between December 2021 and September 2023.

Deputy Minister Senessie highlighted Sierra Leone’s advancements in global emergency responses, particularly addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He shared insights, best practices, and expressed gratitude to participating countries for their comprehensive national reports.

In acknowledging the governance initiatives of the Central African Republic, Dr. Senessie recommended strategic measures, including the formulation of a multisectoral health recovery plan and enhanced collaboration with non-health sector stakeholders to bolster preparedness and response to national and international events/outbreaks.

Furthermore, the Deputy Health Minister commended the Central African Republic’s resilience in managing the aftermath of the 2013 crisis, which significantly impacted health facilities.

The UHPR pilot countries, including Sierra Leone, are utilizing draft working methods as a blueprint for the inaugural peer review pilot slated for February 2024.

On Portugal, Deputy Health Minister 1 thanked the government for its impressive national report. Dr. Senessie recommended measures to address structural drought problems in regions such as Alentejo and Algarve, ensure the sustainability of vaccination programs for future outbreaks, and tackle challenges hindering equitable healthcare access.

It is anticipated that Sierra Leone’s UHPR report will undergo peer review by member states shortly.

Accompanying the Deputy Minister were Professor Foday Sahr, Executive Director of the National Public Health Agency, and Dr. Mohamed Alex Vandi, Deputy Director of the National Public Health Agency, who provided technical support during the national review of the Central African Republic and Portugal.

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