Sierra Leone Adopts “Reach Every District” Strategy to Increase Immunization Coverage

Sierra Leone moved closer to achievement of both the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy and Millennium Development Goals related to poverty-reduction and improved health outcomes when the nation adopted the “Reach Every Child (RED)” approach to healthcare last fall.

In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed RED in response to stagnating immunization coverage throughout the African continent. The RED approach focuses on improving immunization coverage by concentrating attention on district level healthcare facilities, and stressing the importance of collecting data and monitoring progress.
Sabin Senior Program Officer Dr. Clifford Kamara facilitated a lecture on ToT for 22 health personnel during a RED training workshop sponsored by Sabin, WHO, and UNICEF. The workshop provided attendees with insights on how to utilize effective planning and monitoring and evaluation techniques for immunization and maternal and child health interventions. The 22 health personnel, who represented each of Sierra Leone’s 13 districts, will in-turn train other health workers and ensure that the RED approach is widely implemented.

Participants in the RED training developed five key recommendations at the conclusion of the meeting, including a focus on training health workers whose primary focus is maternal and child health, mobilizing resources to ensure that the RED approach is effectively implemented, and empowering “district health sisters” to be responsible for training health workers and monitoring the implementation of RED.

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