The Honorable Minister of Health and Sanitation, Prof. Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie has said that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is now prepared to respond to any health and health related emergency in the country.
He was speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday 10th September where the Ministry of Health and Sanitation engaged and briefed Journalists from both the print and electronic media on Sierra Leone’s National Action Plan for Health Security at the MoHS Conference Hall, Youyi Building in Freetown.
In his briefing, Health Minister, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie called on journalists to promote the National Action Plan for Health Security as the development of the plan by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and its partners coupled with the strengthening of relevant health structures shows that the country is not only in the position to quickly detect any health and health related emergencies but also respond to them.
Prof. Wurie reiterated that they now have rapid responses team in each district and trained surveillance officers backed with up to the task laboratories who are capable enough to quickly detect any emergency related diseases with sound laboratory results thereby limiting the chain of transmission
He further said that the country can now boast of 22 trained and qualified Sierra Leonean field epidemiologists, although he noted there is need to train more. He continued that Sierra Leone will be among the first 6 countries in Africa to have developed and launched the National Action Plan for Health Security.
For his part, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Amara Jambai who chaired the Press Briefing said that at the National level they now have the Directorate of Health Security and Emergencies at the Emergency Operation Centre on Wilkinson Road which coordinators partners on Health and health related emergencies in the country with branches in the districts.
Dr. Jambai also said that the National Action Plan for Health Security is a guide for the country on health emergencies and a reference point for health and development partners.
While dilating on the issue of Community Engagement, Dr. Jambai said that they were now moving from community mobilization to Community Engagement, which he noted is a process, but not an event in which community stakeholders are seen taking active role thereby capacitated to take action for their health.
Ag. Programme Manager, Health Education Division, Harold Thomas introduced the chairman and later closed the press briefing by reminding press men of the launch of the National Action Plan for Health Security on Thursday 12th September in Freetown.
Credit: By Ibrahim Sorie Koroma Health Education Officer –HED/ MoHS