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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sierra Leone: EU's 6.6 million boost to curb child mortality

The European Commission's Humanitarian Office (ECHO) has doled out 6.6 million (about $8.1 million) to support UNICEF and the government of Sierra Leone in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health in the country. "This additional EU allocation will support the free health care initiative of the government of Sierra Leone," said Jean-Pierre Reymondet-Commoy, EU Head of Delegation. The CMAM approach involves timely detection of severe cases and provision of treatment to those without medical complications (80 percent) with ready-to-use-therapeutic food within their own communities. The CMAM component of the project will target 60,000 severely malnourished children in all the 12 districts and the Western Area of Sierra Leone. Community level screening and treatment of severely malnourished children is already taking place at 198 Peripheral Health Units (PHUs). Management of severely malnourished children with medical complications is being done at 14 hospitals with stabilization centres. In April last year, President Earnest Bai Koroma launched the free health care initiative for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children who are under the age of five. The free health care component will ensure that about 230,000 pregnant women, lactating mothers, and 950,000 children in the country have access to free health care services.

Source: AllAfrica