Health Strengthening = Improved Health Outcomes

Allison SchroederHealth systems strengthening, Healthcare

A key component to improving health outcomes for women and children in Sierra Leone, is delivering quality health services. Ensuring that evidence-based interventions are used, collecting data and setting standards for patient care, are core elements of health strengthening efforts.

In February a meeting was hosted by our in-country partner Caritas-Freetown that brought together healthcare personnel from HealeyIRF supported facilities and other private healthcare clinics. The focus of the meeting was to discuss the need to improve the quality of care as an element of strengthening the healthcare system.

Sister Josephine Amara, Health Coordinator for Caritas-Freetown gave a presentation on one aspect of quality care and that is respectful care. She told participants that respectful care allows patients to ask questions and encourages them to take an active role in the decision making. Patients should also be given information on their condition. Most importantly, she said as healthcare providers they must promote “positive health seeking behaviors” in order to improve health outcomes.

“In order to ensure that we can address any future pandemics, like Ebola, our health systems must be strengthened.” noted Sister Amara. “Not just government facilities but private and faith-based facilities as well and that is why we held this meeting.”

Further meetings are planned as participants felt they could gain from sharing best practices. Needed training will also be identified.