SIERRA LEONE: In Sierra Leone, First Lady Explains 'WISH' Project

Monday, August 30, 2010
Awareness Times
Western Africa
Sierra Leone
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

The First lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma has recently explained to the public the rational behind the formation of what were now her very successful projects undertaken in her strides to combat maternal and child morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone.

Addressing her audience during the official launch of the United Methodist Church (UMC) ‘Imagine No Malaria' campaign at the Hotel Bamoi in Aberdeen Freetown, the First Lady Mrs. Koroma said she thought it wise that good health is the most fundamental human right. It is on this backdrop she went on, that the Office of the First Lady with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), developed the Women's Initiative for Safer Health (WISH).

Mrs. Koroma went on that the WISH project is a support framework which aims at enhancing the provision of health service delivery to mother and children, adding that the project is aimed at strategically complimenting the activities of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to reduce child and maternal morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone by focusing on the emergent need to change people's lives through better health choices, access to health facilities and training of health workers operating in areas of need.

The First Lady furthered that the core aim of WISH is to empower women in making the right decisions in areas of sexual and reproductive health.

“Many of our women are not sufficiently empowered in making the right health related decisions due to cultural barriers, poverty, lack of information and education” stated Mrs. Koroma, adding, “in this respect, in November 2008, my office organized a two day Consultative Forum for Traditional and Religious Leaders in Sierra Leone in order to sensitize them and redefine their role on issues related to maternal health and infant mortality and family planning at community level. The two days forum Mrs. Nyama Koroma cited, resolved the enactment of byelaws, encouraging pregnant women to deliver at health facilities, the establishment of Networks of traditional and religious leaders to advocate on maternal health and infant mortality issues, and the commitment of traditional and religious leaders d to support the establishment of Birthing homes in their respective communities.