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Sierra Leone: Health Services

International Development written question – answered on 7th July 2011.

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Photo of Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar Labour, Glasgow Central

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that health workers are deployed to the parts of Sierra Leone in greatest need.

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

The UK is supporting the delivery of the Free Health Care Initiative for pregnant and nursing women and children under five years old which was launched by the President of Sierra Leone in April 2010. The purpose of the UK's support is to reduce maternal and child mortality in Sierra Leone which is among the worst in the world.

As a result of the UK's support over 2,000 additional health workers were recruited in 2010 to help meet the increased demand for services across the country including those areas in greatest need. To date we have provided technical expertise to work closely with the Human Resources Department of the Ministry of Health to develop a robust national human resources policy and strategy to address the challenges of coverage and spread in the medium to long term. In the short term the World Bank has this year introduced a programme to incentivise personnel working in the rural areas of the country. We are collaborating closely with the World Bank on this programme to ensure health workers in the rural areas remain in post.

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