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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many additional doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers he expects (a) to be required and (b) his Department to fund in Sierra Leone in order to reach the targets on maternal mortality and assisted births set out in his Department's operational plan for that country.
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.
The UK has provided the Human Resources Department of the Ministry of Health with specialised technical support so that it can carry out an in-depth analysis of the staffing they currently have, what staffing they should have as a minimum in light of the size of population, and how they intend filling the staffing gap. This will then result in a clear strategy by the end of this year which maps out the numbers and mix of skills they need in the medium to long term, how they intend putting these in place and what resources are available to enable them to implement the strategy. The UK will work closely with the Ministry of Health and non-governmental partners to ensure UK resources are targeted at the priority skills needed to address maternal health and assisted births.