Jhpiego Hands Over 117 Call Center Equipment to Karene & Falaba Districts

By Millicent Senava Mannah

Jhpiego, a renowned global health organization, has taken a significant step in bolstering Sierra Leone’s health preparedness by handing over a suite of essential equipment to the Directorate of Health Security and Emergency (DHSE) within the Ministry of Health. The equipment, earmarked for the establishment of a 117 Call Center in Kabala and Karene districts, was formally transferred in a ceremony held on August 29, 2023 at the DHSE Conference Room on Wilkinson Road, located in the West End of Freetown.

Among the valuable items delivered to DHSE were a state-of-the-art Dell laptop, comprehensive computer peripherals, a large 55-inch smart TV, necessary electrical extensions, an HP office printer, versatile 2-in-1 workstations, ergonomic office chairs, and vital cabling infrastructure.

Dr. Ibrahim Seriki, the Project Lead for Jhpiego, elucidated the organization’s commitment to reinforcing public health and emergency responsiveness, highlighting their track record in supporting analogous efforts across the globe. He emphasized that Jhpiego’s pivotal role spans from initial points of entry to the establishment of functional 117 Call Centers, thereby enhancing Sierra Leone’s ability to tackle public health crises effectively.

Dr. Seriki drew attention to the indispensable role played by the 117 Hot Line during the nation’s battle against the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015. He specifically noted that Karene and Falaba districts, being relatively new administrative divisions, lacked the infrastructure of a dedicated 117 Call Center. This, he affirmed, was the impetus for Jhpiego’s proactive engagement in this venture.

Dr. Mohamed Vandi, the Director of DHSE within the Ministry of Health, lauded the significance of this equipment donation. He emphasized DHSE’s primary mandate of providing leadership, scientific expertise, and technical support for public health emergency preparedness. Dr. Vandi highlighted the transformative potential of the 117 Call Desk in augmenting the nation’s ability to detect, mitigate, and respond to disease outbreaks across all levels of the country.

Echoing his sentiments, Dr. Daphine Mottett, representing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), extended gratitude to all collaborative partners and urged Jhpiego to continue its commendable efforts. She underscored the critical role the 117 Call Center has played in emergency response within the health sector, acknowledging its positive impact.

The event culminated in a symbolic handover of the equipment, signifying the concrete manifestation of Jhpiego’s dedication to enhancing Sierra Leone’s health security infrastructure.


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