By Feima Sesay
Orange SL Foundation in partnership with ICAP has on Thursday 11 March 2021 at Youyi building launched a project title Safeguarding Maternal Health In Sierra Leone.
The objectives of this project is the promote awarenesses on the importance of maternal health care, to screen for risk factors of maternal morbidity and mortality among pregnant women, o facilitate linkage of pregnant women from community to appropriate health facility care, to provide technical and logistical support for the implementation of infection preventing and control measures bin the police hospital and Kroo bay CHC to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Chief Executive Officer Orange SL Madam Aminata Kane Ndiaye in her statement said the launched is for the preservation of the health of expectant mothers and babies in Sierra Leone.
She reiterated that the project is extremely important to them as it reflects in their commitment to contribute to social goals by engaging and supporting sustainable development in Sierra Leone.
Madam Kane said the partnership with the ministry of health and ICAP is to reduce maternal mortality in the countryÂ and that need not to emphasize in stating that maternal mortality continues to plague the lives of our women across the country.
She said maternal mortality is a very serious issue, adding that statistic has shown that 1in 17 mother’s has a lifetime risk of dying in connection to child birth.
And that with a population of 6 million people, Sierra Leone has one of the highest mortality rates in the world with an estimated 1,165 death per 100,000 live births. These deaths can be prevented throughÂ Â a wide range of intervention such as this project and that Kroobay community has been identified as one of the communities with the highest percentage of Maternal mortality over the years.
Madam Kana Ndiaye said the project shall be community based driven campaign that is geared towards reducing maternal mortality in deprived communities.
The project according to her will allow them to provide, community promotion, multi-disease screening service, baby care boxes and SMS alert for checkups, M- health service and IPC. Measures for maternal health services.
She added that the project will seek to provide technical assistance to the ministry of health and Sanitation to deliver evidence based robust community and facility based interventions to optimize maternal health services utilization in Kroobay community in Freetown.
“The launch of the Safeguarding Maternal project , is a clear demonstration of Orange commitment to itÂ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and resonates our our commitment and effort towards supporting sustainable development and partner of reference in Sierra Leone”, she concludes.
The Country Director for ICAP Dr. Mama Awa Toure in her statement also said Sierra Leone has made significant progress in the reduction of maternal mortality ans that ICAP is known as a public health leader with a focus on strengthening health system and resilience and that they have been supportingÂ the ministry of health and Sanitation to address public health challenges including Maternal child health and disease burden, post Ebola outbreak.
Dr. You’re said since 2016, ICAP in collaboration with CDC has implemented numerous community and facility – based interventions, one is which she said is focus on combined infection prevention and control compliance and the use of partographÂ at peripheral health units for improved maternal health services using quality improvement method.
She noted that despite the tremendous improvement made in reducing maternal morbidity ratio, Sierra Leone remains far-fetched from meeting the global target of less than 70 death per 100,000 live births by 2030.
She continues that their collective aim is to reduce maternal mortalities significantly in SL and in addition to work in health facilities to improved health services and that the only way to reduce maternal child morbidity and mortality is by modifying their approach to health service delivery and bring services closer to clients especially to complement the traditional facility based health care provision approach.
She said in response to the above challenges, ICAP, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, and Orange SL will be rolling out pilot project to support maternal health in one of the highly populated low resources settings in Freetown which is the Kroobay community.
She said Orange Foundation has had previous partnership in other countries, through it CSR and that one of them is the support provided to 700 children in Guinea through health and education.
In conclusion said she hopes that the launch will serve as a call to action for all other corporate institution to see the need to support health care delivery.
The Safeguarding Maternal Health In Sierra Leone was official Launched by the MinisterÂ of Health and Sanitation Dr Austin Demby who in his statement thank Orange SL and ICAP for such a loudable venture in promoting the health system in the country.
He however assured the company of the ministry commitment in implementing such the project as he said is the president dream to see that all pregnant women get good medical care.
Several other meaningful contributionÂ were made from representative from Center For Disease Control, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communication, Deputy Director General NATCOM and the Chief Medical Officer Ministry of Health and Sanitation to support the project.