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MAKALI, Kunike Barina Chiefdom, Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone, 19 January 2019 – On Saturday, crowds of people from the Makali area came to witness the official opening of the newly constructed solar powered community health centre. His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, was joined by the Honourable Health Minister and other Ministers for the opening. The facility will serve a population of 7,150 and provide 24-hour maternity services on a daily basis.

With support from UK aid, and in partnership with MoHS and UNFPA, six centres across Sierra Leone have been built and renovated and another two are expected to be completed over the next few months. The Centres will provide lifesaving emergency obstetric and neonatal care as well as adolescent friendly family planning services.

The renovation is part of UK aid’s ‘Saving Lives in Sierra Leone’ programme which is helping to reduce the number of preventable deaths among women, adolescent girls and children by improving the quality, availability and accessibility of health care services. As part of the Programme, UK aid has supported the training of over 4,000 community health care workers, provided free essential drugs for pregnant women and children under 5 and ensured that health facilities are safe by establishing water, sanitation, and waste facilities in 236 clinics.

Speaking at the event, Sandy Baldwin, Deputy Head of DFID in Sierra Leone said: “The UK is pleased to be working closely with the Government of Sierra Leone and UNFPA to refurbish community health centres.” She added “[Makali Community Health Centre] is where new babies of this community will take their first breath as they come into the world; it is a place where women and girls can find care and support to live strong, healthy lives; and it is a place to inspire young people to consider their future in the caring and health professions, which is so needed.”

Speaking at the ceremony UNFPA Representative a.i. Dr. Abiodun Chris Oyeyipo said, “The construction is a step in the right direction of getting quality health care services to the people of the country. The aim of the construction was to elevate the quality of care to the required standards, with a view of positioning it for the provision of quality maternal, new born and child health services with a focus on basic emergency obstetric and new-born care.”

Background information

  • UK aid, (delivered through The Department for International Development), leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. We are tackling the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. Our work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too. For more information about UK aid, visit:
  • ‘Saving Lives in Sierra Leone’ is a five year UK aid funded programme. The programme is helping to reduce the number of preventable deaths among women, adolescent girls and children by improving the quality, availability and accessibility of health care services.
  • UK aid provided 6 million GBP to support to provide 8 health facilities. The programme is being implemented by UNFPA that lead the UN consortium and IRC international that lead the NGO consortium.
  • The six centres are being commissioned as they have been completed: Gandorhun (Kono), Makeni (Bombali), Makali (Tonkolili), Koindu (Kailahun), Malen (Pujehun), Tombowalla (Kambia). The remaining two are expected to be completed in early 2019.

For further information about how the UK is supporting health outcomes in Sierra Leone please contact:

Jaya Singh Verma,

For more information on the human development portfolio of DFID, please contact:

Penny Robertson;

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA reaches millions of women and young people in 155 countries and territories.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Angelique Reid, Communications Specialist

UNFPA Sierra Leone 

M: 078 340044