Who would have thought just one year ago, when horror stories about the impact of the Ebola outbreak were hitting the international news headlines, that in less than a year, one of the most affected countries, Sierra Leone, would not only be able to control and manage the epidemic, but also reach the ZERO-case target?
The latest WHO progress report “Ebola outbreak to recovery” highlights that Sierra Leone’s success story, far from being a miracle, is the direct result of effective and coordinated efforts between international partners and national authorities who followed a twin-track approach: To provide targeted emergency response, while simultaneously strengthening what could be seen as the “trunk” for sustaining a resilient ZERO – the country’s broader health system strategies and policies.
The EU/LUX/WHO partnership on Universal Health Coverage played and will continue to play a key role in this context, by ensuring that short-term recovery plans were appropriately integrated into broader health sector reform efforts – for example by helping to reform the country’s human resources information and management systems. At district level, WHO’s tasks involved building the capacities of district health management teams in establishing and implementation their operational recovery plans, as well as supporting them in restoring essential health services, including: vaccination of preventable diseases; nutrition; reproductive health, maternal, neonatal and child health; immunisation services; and HIV, TB and malaria. 10,000 health workers at the national and the district level have already received training through the support provided by the WHO and partners.
To read more about the engineers and strategies behind Sierra Leone’s success story, download the report at the following link: Ebola Outbreak to Recovery