• The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Babatunde Ahonsi, UNAIDS Rep, Issah Ahemesah and the WHO Representative, Dr. Steven V. Shongwe have on the 9th March, 2020 paid an official preliminary visit to Dr. Austin Demby, Minister of Health & Sanitation and team. The Minister, in his welcoming note pointed out that the move by the UN, WHO & Partners is a signal of readiness for continuing partnership and for which his ministry is warmly open to. The UN Resident Coordinator started out by congratulating the Minister on the arrival of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Vaccine and expressed that with his experience and background, the Minister’s appointment could not come at a better time. He continued that the UN family has enjoyed a long working relationship with MoHS and emphasized on the centrality of the health sector in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. “The health sector must be seen as an investment that generates significant returns rather than an expenditure” said Babatunde Ahonsi and continued that prioritizing human capital development should not be trivialized. Dr. Shongwe relayed that the WHO acknowledges the significant progress made by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation evident in the establishment of NaCOVERC in responding to COVID-19. He asserted that what may have started as a health issue proved to become a development issue wherein more resources require mobilization positioned to fostering functional institutional development. In his response to statements made by partners, the Minister of Health & Sanitation underlined how brilliantly were health issues captured by the visiting team and this presents an opportunity to change the narrative of immediate and emerging health concerns. The Minister laid out that his vision largely gears towards building the utmost potential of every Sierra Leonean through attractive health care service delivery, investment, institutional management and sustainability.

Public Relations Unit,

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