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At APRM Targeted Review Program   VP Juldeh Jalloh Calls For Increased Nationwide Vaccination
Juliana Vandy
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At APRM Targeted Review Program VP Juldeh Jalloh Calls For Increased Nationwide Vaccination

At APRM Targeted Review Program VP Juldeh Jalloh Calls For Increased Nationwide Vaccination

By:  Juliana Vandy

Strategic Communications Unit –MIC

 

At the official launch of Sierra Leone's Targeted Review Report on Health Governance and COVID-19 Response on Thursday, August 12, 2021, at the Bintumani Conference Center, The Hon Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has called for increased nationwide vaccination of the populace.

The Targeted Review came as a result of the 2020 African Union meeting where the government of Sierra Leone met with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and requested that Sierra Leone be part of the targeted review for 2021 and which was approved by the APRM Continental Office.

The APRM is a self-monitoring mechanism instrument voluntarily acceded to by member states of the African Union, and Sierra Leone volunteered for her health governance system to be reviewed by other member states in 2021.

Officially launching the Targeted Review Report on Health Governance and COVID-19 Response in Sierra Leone, The Hon. Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh welcomed the APRM team to Sierra Leone and on behalf of the Government and people,  thanked them for choosing Sierra Leone to conduct the targeted review. 

He furthered thanked the team for a plausible job done, as the report entails some key findings, recommendations and best practices that  Sierra Leone needs to share and learn from sister countries. 

“It is clear from the report and the narrative across Africa and the rest of the world, that the outbreak of COVID-19  particularly in most Sub-Sahara African countries, constituted a big test for healthcare delivery,” Vice President Jalloh emphasised.

Sharing factors responsible for Sierra Leone’s excellent performance in health care delivery, Vice President Jalloh stated that pandemics of this nature, test the solidity of healthcare delivery in Sierra Leone and many countries the world over. However, he went on, Sierra Leone under the astute leadership of His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio was able to brace up early to fight the pandemic pointing out three key factors responsible for our success story - Leadership, Experience and Technology.

The Vice President dilated on President Bio's early test of the country's preparedness to fight the pandemic and his vision to also build the necessary institutional framework to respond to the pandemic at an embryonic stage. Before Sierra Leone's index case in March 2019, President Bio had put mechanisms in place to stem the flow of the virus and contain it.

As a country that has experienced Ebola “we drew back from those sad realities to reorganise and reposition ourselves for the fight,” The Vice President noted.

Government also brought in digitalization to be able to manage surveillance, and gather data so that any action taken by the Presidential Task Force was informed by data.

He continued that after government noticed that the COVID-19 pandemic tested the solidity of the country’s healthcare delivery facilities, they automatically carved out a vision and a method on how they wanted to respond to it. Government, he averred, realized they have to carve out a response system that should be seen as a bridge between the country’s response and the future of health care delivery system. He explained further that government focused on strengthening the healthcare delivery system of the country so that future pandemics cannot disintegrate or disrupt healthcare in the country.

Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh highlighted the Quick Action Economic Recovery Program (QAERP) as part of the strategies that enhanced Sierra Leone’s success in the health governance and COVID 19 response assessment. “We rolled out an economic plan to address the social and economic situation of our people,” he said.

Dr. Juldeh Jalloh noted that it is never easy for a country to call on other countries to examine and assess what they do. He commended his Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for taking the bold step on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, to request the APRM through the African Union, to examine the country’s health governance and COVID-19 response.

He called on all African and global leaders to intensify the advocacy on global vaccine equity in order to improve the level of vaccine uptake in low income level countries.

He appealed to multi-lateral financial institutions to factor post COVID-19 recovery in pure economic terms;  cushioning the adverse economic impact of the pandemic on countries.

The Vice President on behalf of Sierra Leone advocated for a waiver of intellectual property rights on the fabrication and production of COVID-19 vaccines so that African countries will have access to vaccines.

He assured the APRM team that government has taken note of their findings, recommendations and best practices shared and that the health governance system is going to be included in the country’s medium term development plan.

Before the VP's launch of the report, the APRM Team Lead for the targeted review in Sierra Leone, Ambassador Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika said her team is very excited to be in Sierra Leone for the targeted review which she said had been gaining momentum since 2019. She disclosed that they first carried out four successful targeted reviews at APRM in Djibouti, Namibia and two in Zambia.

She furthered that it is with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that the team of eminent persons are gathered to help launch the targeted review report for Sierra Leone.

She maintained that it is a clear indication of the commitment, trust and faith of the government and people of Sierra Leone in the APRM review process and their ability to promote Sierra Leone with an independent, credible, legitimate analysis and recommendations to speak to questions and challenges of health governance and COVID-19 response in the country. 

She expressed hope that though the report was going to be launched under COVID-19 health restrictions, its details will still be spread far and wide. 

Amb. Lewanika said vaccination rate in Africa is very low and if swift action is not taken, Africa will soon experience a catastrophic variant. She commended Sierra Leone for recognizing the strategy on how to master and conquer the virus and the way it demonstrated its willingness to undertake a targeted review on health governance and COVID-19 response.

She congratulated President Julius Maada Bio for the leadership he has shown and his commitment to the APRM and the targeted review process in Sierra Leone.

Amb. Lewanika described Sierra Leone as a “shining star” in not only Africa but other continents, for its efforts in health governance and COVID-19 response. She urged member states and others to learn a lot from Sierra Leone.

She noted that the country implemented strategies that are largely regarded as proactive and innovative to prevent the pandemic’s devastating effect citing the quick action economic response program and production of home sanitisers amongst others.

The Ministers of Political and Public Affairs, Health and Sanitation and Economic Development all pledged their ministries' commitment to work with some of the recommendations made in the report.

 

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