The Director of Reproductive and Child Health in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Santigie Sesay has officially launched two weeks Service Delivery Indicator (SDI) Survey training at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown.
The training which attracted Enumerators and Supervisors mostly Clinical Staff including Community Health Officers (CHOs), State Registered Nurse (SRN) and Midwives among others countrywide was organized by the Directorate of Policy Planning and Information in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Statistics Sierra Leone with funds from World Bank.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Santigie Sesay underscored the importance of the training, stating that it was to assess the quality of service that the health professionals have provided to the communities. He said last year they assessed the availability and readiness of health services, and now with funds from World Bank to have an in-depth look at the quality of those services.
He informed his audience that two weeks back, they invited all District Medical Officers (DMOs), Medical Superintendents, Program Managers, health development partners and Civil Society Organizations to adapt the Service Delivery Indicator tools to suit the national healthcare system context.
Dr. Sesay disclosed that over the years, government and its partners have invested a lot in the health sector to improve the health indices, adding that although there has been a gradual decline in maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, the comparative global picture is still not encouraging. He added that las week, government distributed about 200 ambulances all in a bid to improve maternal health care and to make Sierra Leone a place where women would like to give birth.
He told the gathering that government has established teaching hospitals in the country and also introduced post graduate medical and public health courses to improve knowledge and expertise in the healthcare delivery in the country.
The Director of Reproductive and Child Health reiterated that in 2017 they conducted the Service Availability and Readiness Assessment (SARA) mainly to assess what services were available at the health facilities and those that were ready to provide specific services.
He said the SDI is a World Bank survey that assesses service quality, which includes absence from facility, caseload per provider, diagnostic accuracy, adherence to clinical guidelines, management of maternal/neonatal complications, equipment availability, drug, and infrastructure availability. He added that one key component of the survey is simulation which is essentially a knowledge testing module of the survey that requires enumerators to test the knowledge of clinical staff especially with regards areas such as diagnosis and prescription. The survey, he said when conducted in countries such as Madagascar found out that only 40 percent of diarrhea/dehydration cases were diagnosed correctly and only 30 percent prescribed full treatment. He said for malaria/anaemia less than 50 percent diagnosed correctly and only 10 percent prescribed full treatment.
Dr. Santigie Sesay implored all potential enumerators to be truthful to their conscience and collect data as found in the field, adding that the Ministry and World Bank would want to have the exact picture, so that government and its partners would work towards addressing the gaps, hence improving the health care delivery.
World Bank Senior Health Economist, Kofi Amponsah said the last survey conducted was to look at the availability of services to the people, adding that this time they are moving a little step further to look at quality of services and ensure that the services the people received is of high quality.
He entreated enumerators to be very objective because it is a very important survey, adding that when they go down to the field to make sure they gather the right information to ensure that they put in place a mechanism that would ensure service provision is of high quality and of good standard that is commensurable to the rest of the world.
Principal Statistician, Statistics Sierra Leone, Sahr Entua Yambasu said services are those that are measure during the survey to find out where are the challenges, what are the issues that engulf with the health system.
He said the presence of participants in the training marks the beginning of the quality data they hope to get and encouraged them to be much attentive, commitment and take the training serious.
The Coordinator, Directorate of Policy, Planning and Information and Chairman for the ceremony, Alhassan Fouard Kanu emphasized that the survey is important as it will inform on how to strengthen the system better to ensure they provide the needed quality services that would impact the lives of the people.
Highlight of the program include presentation of the SDI project by World Bank Consultant, Ashis Das.
Reporting by Kadrie Koroma