MOHS, China CDC & USAID/PMI Organize Three-Day Training in Sierra Leone

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Dep. Minister, dep. Ambassador, MOHS officials and participants

By Foday Moriba Conteh

China CDC in collaboration with Ministry of Health and USAID/PMI are organizing a three day training program for technicians that will be able to diagnose Malaria at the Bintumani Hotel.

Declaring the training opened, the Deputy Minister of Health Dr Jonathan Sandi said malaria is the prime cause of death among children so the training will be of utmost importance to help solve the maternal and mortality problem in the country.

“With all the decisions and remedies taken, yet there are still challenges in this fight, so we are happy that this training will change the cause of treating malaria as diagnosis will be done first to know the extent of the sickness and the drugs that should be administered.”

He said there is nothing like malaria typhoid and so long the diagnosis is done properly, the correct sickness will be detected and treated.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Amara Jambai who was the chairman of the program made it very clear that this is the kind of help the ministry is looking as said this is not the first training being done by China CDC.

He said after this training and if it is expanded with cut down the number of death in the country. He called on the technicians to make good use of the training as they have a role to play in cutting down the number of death in the country.

The Deputy Chinese Ambassador Wang Xinmin said there were 216 million malaria cases and 445.000 malaria deaths all over the world in 2017. Recognizing the large global disease burden, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 include combating malaria.  

Also, Malaria is very serious in Africa. According to the estimates in the World Malaria Report 2018, there were 194 million malaria cases (89.8% of the world) and 407,000 malaria deaths (91.5% of the world) in Africa. In the African continent, Sierra Leone is one of the countries severely affected by malaria with a high prevalence and deaths.

Although it has made an ambitious goal, malaria control and elimination is still a big challenge. In order to share the latest knowledge and experience on control and prevention of malaria as well as the progress on operational researches, and to explore the potential approaches towards forming an international collaborative network of malaria control and elimination in Africa, China CDC and The Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone jointly organized this Training.  “We are delighted to have some Chinese experts with extensive experience in malaria prevention and control to share their ideas and knowledge with local experts in the next one week, and explore potential barriers and approaches towards control and eliminating malaria in Sierra Leone and other African countries.”

He said he believes that this training will have positive and far-reaching impact on China-Sierra Leone public health cooperation, especially for malaria prevention and control cooperation. I hope that all experts will work together to make this training a great success. Professor Duan the team lead at China CDC said Sierra Leone is one of the most severely malaria-burdened countries in Africa. Malaria causes a severe and great socio-economic impact for people here.

The professor said  the efficient response to tackle malaria cases require effective diagnostic techniques, which includes RDT and microscopy for malaria. Therefore, on this demand, China CDC in collaboration with MOHS/ NMCP developed a training course for Laboratory technicians in the hospitals, Community Health Centres and the Public Health Reference Laboratory, which aims to strengthen the capacity of malaria diagnosis.

“Our Facilitators have excellent experience on malaria prevention and control, especially in malaria diagnostic techniques. I believe all trainees can benefit a lot from this course. No one should die from a disease that is easily diagnosed and treated- and that is the case with malaria. In the1960s, about 30 million people were infected by malaria each year in China. With the great effort of government and professional experts, China has reported no indigenous malaria cases in 2017.”

“One of Chinese experts, Tu Youyou, discovered artemisinin, and she won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Artemisinin has saved millions of lives in the world, especially in African countries. And I hope, by the efforts and contribution of all Health Development Partners and the government of Sierra Leone, no one would die of malaria in Sierra Leone in the near future.”

Other speakers includes Dr Donald Bash Taqi and Dr Smith as they commended the China CDC for training and appeal that more of such will be done so that all District will have these technicians.

High table during the launching of the training

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