UNICEF Press Release: JAPAN PROVIDES US$ 1.3 MILLION TO REDUCE MATERNAL AND CHILD MORTALITY
2 December 2009 - The Government of Japan has provided US$ 1.3 million (one million three hundred thousand United States dollars) for "the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases" supporting the efforts to reduce child and maternal mortality in Sierra Leone. The project targets children under the age of five years, pregnant women and young mothers in all the 13 districts in Sierra Leone as stated in UNICEF's press release issued in Freetown on 2nd December 2009.
''As a Government we are committed to lift Sierra Leone from the bottom of the Human Development Index. Reducing maternal and child mortality is therefore a crucial priority", says Dr Kisito Daoh, Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone is extremely grateful to the Japanese Government for this support", he concluded.
The objective of the funding is to support the Governments efforts in reducing maternal and child mortality throughout the country by improving health and nutrition services and improving access to them. The programme includes improving health and nutrition policy frameworks, scaling up health services including malaria control through insecticide treated bed nets, treating and preventing malnutrition, stepping up immunisation services for children for vaccine preventable diseases, scaling up PMTCT services in the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as providing water and hygiene promotion in order to tackle waterborne diseases. The project will also include strengthening policy frameworks and improving knowledge amongst communities especially on infant and young child feeding, child care and hygiene promotion. An essential package has been developed which includes a series of interventions that are to be delivered along the life cycle of a child from conception until the age of five years.
"The Right to Survival is one of the key fundamental pillars of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These interventions are proven low cost with high impact. They need to be scaled up nationwide in order to make a difference for the children of this country", said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF Representative to Sierra Leone.
"The Japanese Government has since 1998 donated more than US$20 million to child survival and education in Sierra Leone and is one of the key development partners in the country, said HE Keiichi Katakami, Japanese Ambassador to Sierra Leone. "Our support has been a significant contribution to Government's efforts in addressing the challenges of maternal and child health".
For more information, please contact:
Issa Davies, Communication Officer, UNICEF, tel: 076 601 310; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Parker, Officer-in-Charge, External Relations and Advocacy, UNICEF, Tel: 076 601 310;