Twice-yearly Maternal and Child Health Weeks Reduce Child Mortality in Sierra Leone
Bo, Sierra Leone – Helen Keller International (HKI), Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) and other distinguished partners launched the biannual Maternal and Child Health Week (MCHW), locally called “Mami en Pekin Welbodi Week,” in Bo on November 24th . The MoHS has institutionalized these health weeks to promote high-impact and cost-effective maternal and child survival interventions. Since their inception, the MCHWs have been effective in reaching over 80% of the target population.
The most recent MCHW, November 25-29, 2011, provided vitamin A supplementation to about 1 million children 6-59 months, as well as mosquito nets and immunizations. Other interventions during this week included screening children 6-59 months for malnutrition, de-worming children 12- 59 months with albendazole, and administering tetanus toxoid immunizations to women of child-bearing age in five districts (Koinadugu, Kailahun, Kenema, Bonthe and Moyamba).