The CHAMPS County Site Director, Dr. Ike Ogbuanu, and his CHAMPS Team in Sierra Leone are playing host to their counterparts from Emery University in Atlanta and the Nigeria Site, who are in Sierra Leone to learn from current best practices for impact and engagement, discuss and develop structured ways of capturing data-to-action activities, among others.
In a brief meeting held at the Crown Agent Office in Freetown, Dr. Ike started by giving an overview of CHAMPS’ work in Sierra Leone, noting the significant progress they have made over the years, especially in the area of community engagement and social and behavioral practices. “We are working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, World Hope, FOCUS 1000, and other partners to ensure we engage communities and tell them the importance of our work and the need for stronger collaborations”. He said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Team is here to see firsthand, the successes and how Sierra Leone has overcome the initial hurdles before reaching where it is now. Soon, Nigeria is expected to open a CHAMPS site.
Dr. Ike emphasized the need for total collaboration and corporation among the different CHAMPS Offices “We have a lot to learn from, and exchanges to make, when we started here, it was not as smooth as you see now, we went through challenges, which I will say helped a lot to take us where we are now. We have a lot to share, so you can count on us at any time you need us”. He said.
The Team paid a courtesy visit to the Co-CHAMPS Site Director, Dr. Jambai who thanked the CHAMPS Team for their relentless efforts in supporting the government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. He noted that Sierra Leone is among the countries with a high rate of maternal mortality, which is why they would continue to give the necessary support to CHAMPS as their data-to-action mapping has helped the government tremendously in resource allocations within the Ministry.
The Team also visited the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sattie Kenneh, who said that CHAMPS work in Sierra Leone has served as a scorecard on child motility, helping the government to act accordingly. He encouraged the visiting team to work together as health issues in Africa are cross-cutting.
A visit to the Country Director of the Center for Disease Control in Sierra Leone, and a tour of the pathology lab at Connaught Hospital formed part of the first day of their week-long visit to Sierra Leone.