By Kadrie Koroma
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer 1, Dr. Sarian Kamara has said that government recognizes the fact that malaria is a leading public health problem with the entire population at risk of being affected by the disease. The meeting was organized by the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
Deputy Chief Medical Officer 1, Dr. Sarian Kamara
Addressing participants during the official opening of a two day Malaria Prevention and Control Implementing Partners Meeting at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown, Dr. Sarian Kamara acknowledged the efforts of the programme with support from international and national partners for the progress recorded with scaling up of life-saving antimalarial interventions.
Cross section of participants
She informed her audience that the National Malaria Control Programme under the Ministry of Health and Sanitation focusses on one main goal which was to improve the health of the people of the country, and their quality of life, by reducing the malaria burden in the country through scaling up access to evidence based malaria control interventions to the entire population. This, she said could be attained through effective collaboration of the government, civil society, international partners and donor agencies focused on the formulation of clearly define policies, planning and monitoring and evaluation within the framework of the National Malaria Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
Dr. Kamara reiterated that the outcome of the meeting will help the National Malaria Control Programme and all partners to be aware of all malaria projects being implemented in the health sector for and on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer told the gathering that as they continue their deliberations to strengthen communication, coordination, synergy and complementarities between partners and reduce duplication of efforts in malaria prevention and control activities in the country, hoped they will be able to give specific recommendations and strategies to achieve the expected outcome of the meeting.
The Chair, Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), Rev. Alimamy Kargbo told participants that the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism Sierra Leone has extended invitation to His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to attend the Global Fund Replenishment meeting in Canada from September 16-17, 2016. He said during the meeting, World Leaders will converge at a conference in Montreal, Quebecon Canada to pledge their commitment to end AIDS, TB and Malaria epidemics by 2030.
He said the Country Coordinating Mechanism has hired a Consultant to analyse the absorption capacity of the country portfolio for malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS grant, adding that the key message is that partners should use the fund judiciously and in a timely based on planned activities.
Rev. Kargbo said to end malaria by 2030, the Principal Recipients, National Malaria Control Programme and Catholica Relief Services have developed four objectives for the two day workshop.
He told the gathering that one partner or government alone cannot end malaria epidemics by 2030 if they do not work together as partners with clear defined roles and responsibilities. The weapon the Country Coordinating Mechanism needs now, Rev. Kargbo said is true partnership and community engagement, and called for stronger partnership among Global Fund, government, in-country partners and international partners, civil society, private sector and people affected by the disease in the fight against malaria.
Head of Programme, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Heather Dolphin, commended participants for the enthusiasm in attending the Malaria Implementing Partners meeting to eliminate the disease in Sierra Leone.
She said the Catholic Relief Services has been partnering with the Ministry of Health and providing leadership in improving facility services to investing on malaria.
Heather Dolphin appreciated the efforts of partners in the fight to eradicate malaria in the country, and urged them to engaged and work together to better coordinate malaria prevention and control interventions.
Speaking on behalf of the UN Family, the Disease Prevention and Control Officer, WHO, Dr. Louisa Ganda commended the National Malaria Control Programme for organizing such meeting, and pledged the UN Family’s continued commitment to support the malaria programme.
Other speakers include Health Specialist, Child Fund International, Musa Sesay, and the Chief Executive Officer, FOCUS 1000, Alhaji Mohamed Jalloh who gave the meeting objectives and expectations.
Presentation on the overview of malaria in Sierra Leone by the Programme Manager, National Malaria Control Programme, Dr. Samuel Juana Smith formed high point of the meeting.