News @ JSI

Celebrating Post-Ebola Recovery Efforts in Sierra Leone

June 26, 2017

Since 2015, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Advancing Partners & Communities project, implemented through JSI Research & Training Institute, has been collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) to improve access to high-quality health services in Sierra Leone, during the post-Ebola recovery phase.

JSI and Advancing Partners & Communities held a celebration event on June 20, 2017 in Freetown, Sierra Leone to highlight the achievements of USAID’s largest primary health care investment in Sierra Leone. U.S. Ambassador John Hoover participated in the event, as did Office of the President’s Chief of Staff Saidu Conton Sesay. More than 200 people, ranging from peripheral health unit staff, district health management teams (DHMTs), beneficiaries, implementing partners, USAID and JSI, also attended.

“The United States has supported our Ebola-recovery efforts in a way that enables us to improve the quality of primary health care services—including infection prevention and control. All these improvements have improved facilities and human resource capacity, which will lead to better health outcomes for the people of Sierra Leone,” commented Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah. Saidu Conton Sesay thanked the U.S. government and USAID for their partnership with the government and people of Sierra Leone, and for investing in the Advancing Partners & Communities project.

Through the Advancing Partners & Communities project, JSI helped revitalize more than 300 peripheral health units in five districts in Sierra Leone. The project improved water and sanitation, installed solar power systems, and trained more than 900 health professionals on reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and infection prevention and control practices. Nearly 1,500 community health workers (CHWs) were trained on the new in-service training manual and job aids from the revised CHW 2016-2020 policy that was launched in February 2017 with the project’s support.

JSI also helped rebuild trust between the most affected communities and their health facilities by helping reactivate 214 facility management committees, which are led jointly by community members and health workers. Through all these efforts, two million Sierra Leoneans will receive improved primary health care.

JSI Vice President Carolyn Hart expressed delight at the level of support from the DHMTs, health professionals, and community stakeholders in making the project succeed. “You are the ones who really made this celebration possible. Without your skills and commitments, without your engagement and inputs, […] none of these would have succeeded and it certainly wouldn’t be sustainable…,” she commented.

Check out some photos from the celebration event on Flickr!