By Millicent Senava Mannah
In a groundbreaking move towards safeguarding maternal health, the “Momentum Country & Global Leadership” consortium, led by Jhpiego, Save the Children, PACT, Avenir, Christina Health Association of Sierra Leone, and other partners under the Ministry of Health, convened an inception meetings on Friday, February 2, in Port Loko.
The meeting, held at the District Medical Team Hall, focused on the initiative titled: “Improving Equitable Access to Quality of Care,” aimed to enhance the quality of Maternal, Newborn, Child Health/Reproductive Health/Family Planning (MNCH/RH/FP) services at national, district, facility and community levels.
The primary objective of the project is to ensure that women, newborns, and adolescents in Sierra Leone receive integrated, high-quality care. The initiative strives to advance care quality through the application of improvement principles and approaches that align with the country’s health priorities.
Momentum Leadership is set to provide technical and capacity development assistance to the Ministry of Health. The consortium aims to accelerate progress in improving the health of women, children, and families by fostering partnerships, mutual accountability, co-investment of resources, and adaptive management. Their goal is to deliver evidence-based interventions at scale, reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity.
Dr. Mamoud Idrissa Kamara, the District Medical Officer in Port Loko, welcomed the initiative, describing it as a blessing for the district. He commended the partnership and its significant contributions, emphasizing the vital role played by nurses, health workers, and other stakeholders in the district. Dr. Kamara urged additional partners to join the consortium, reinforcing the health system in the district and enforcing bye-laws to enhance their work.
Najima Bawa, the USAID Project Director for Momentum Global Leadership, expressed satisfaction with the inception meeting, affirming their commitment to supporting Sierra Leone in reducing maternal deaths. Bawa assured stakeholders of technical support and financial assistance, emphasizing collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners to enhance access to quality healthcare.
Madam Monica Green from USAID highlighted the project’s importance, noting that the entire process is funded by USAID and implemented by Momentum under Jhpiego’s leadership. She emphasized Momentum’s focus on technical and capacity development assistance to improve maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes.
Chief Pa Alimamy Conteh emphasized the consortium’s commitment to eradicating maternal deaths, pledging to uphold and enforce adherence to byelaws. Chief Pa Alimamy underscored the crucial role of chiefs and other key stakeholders in reducing not only maternal deaths but also other public health issues in the chiefdom and Port Loko as a whole.