Blair's Sierra Leone Visit Focuses on Free Health-care

by Trilok Kapur on  February 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM General Health News
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Regarding progress made in providing free health-care to pregnant women and children under five, former British prime minister Tony Blair met Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma.
 Blair's Sierra Leone Visit Focuses on Free Health-care
Blair's Sierra Leone Visit Focuses on Free Health-care

"The idea is that if you provide the health care free, more people will access the service and more children and mothers will stay alive," Blair told AFP on a visit to Rokupa Hospital in the capital.

"What my team is doing is to work alongside the government to help deliver their priorities ... If we can deliver this program which the president is keen to do,then it will be another demonstration that things can be done."

On the last leg of a three nation trip to Africa, Blair is in the west African state as part of his African Governance Initiative (AGI), which assists countries to develop their private sector and improve governance.

Blair has also discussed investments and development with Koroma and other stakeholders.

Sierra Leone plans to introduce free health care to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five years old by April -- critical in a country with the world's highest death rate among pregnant women and children, according to the World Health Organization.

A nurse at the hospital said experiments on free health care showed that "40 mothers had used the service (per) year when it was paid for as against 40 a month when payment was waived."

This is Blair's third visit to Sierra Leone since 2008.

Source: AFP
TRI

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