Public Private Partnership for Improvement of Maternal Health in Sierra Leone

The overall objective of the public private partnership (PPP) programme is to contribute to the successful implementation of the National Reproductive and Child Health Strategic Plan 2008-2010, a strategic plan to improve delivery of health services for women and children. The purpose of the programme is to strengthen collaboration among stakeholders in the health sector through the stimulation of Public Private Partnerships in health services, with special attention for reproductive and child health.

Partners within the project
The Sierra Leone consortium exist of the following organizations: Cordaid, Sierra Leone Midwives Association (SLMA), Medical Research Centre (MRC), Principal National School of Midwifery in Freetown (NSMF), Research department of Ministry of Health (RDMoH), Kenema Diocesian Health Care Office (KDHCO), University of Sierra Leone Research Institute, Principal National School of Midwifery in Freetown (NSMF), Catholic Diocese of Kenema, Church Health Association in Sierra Leone, Panguma Hospital, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Maastricht University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO), TNO Quality of Life, Royal Dutch Organization of Midwives (KNOV), International Confederation of Midwifes (ICM), University of Midwifery Education and Studies Maastricht (AVMU), Midwifery Academy Rotterdam (VAR), Development and Relief Corporation B.V., Malaria No More!, National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO). All of the organizations have unique qualities and this diverse mix of traditional and non-traditional partners have an added value for collaboration.

The expected results to be achieved by 2012 of the PPP Sierra Leone are:

1. The development of a system of integrated planning and implementation of district health services in which Local Government Authorities, MOHS, NGOs and other stakeholders at district level cooperate to improve the district health services, with a focus on reproductive and child health;
2. The development of a well functioning joint knowledge system for monitoring, evaluation and research by public and private partners, that contributes to the development of evidence-based interventions in reproductive and child health;
3. The professional organizations in health are capable of contributing to systematic improvement of performance of professionals engaged in reproductive and child health;
4. Governmental, para-statal and not-state training institutions are capable of producing human resources for reproductive and child health in sufficient numbers and quality, and the health system is able to absorb and retain the trained staff, reducing the existing shortage of RCH personnel by 25%.

In order to achieve these results, the PPP Sierra Leone undertakes the following activities (divided by result):

1. Implementation of an integrated planning and management in three phases. The focus of this component is on district planning and management. The aim is to produce annually one Comprehensive District Health Plan (CDHP) for district health services, which has inputs from the health services providers in the district and will provide guidance for all stakeholders in the district.

2. Development of a knowledge system in two phases. The monitoring and research component of the PPP programme will train researchers (including health staff and district health staff ) (1) to assess and disseminate the existing type and quality of maternal and child health services offered at the district health facilities, (2) to test an intervention model to improve the quality of existing services and (3) to provide recommendations on improving and implementing maternal and child health protocols and services. Besides the PPP will strengthen the Health Research Unit in the department of Planning and Information in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

3. Strengthening of the Sierra Leone Midwives Association (SLMA) that will play a role in standard setting and quality improvement in the country. In a later stage support to other organizations will be initiated, with a special attention for the professional organization of nursing.

4. The PPP programme aims to strengthen Human Resources Development by improving the capacity and quality of existing nursing and midwifery training programmes and training institutions (nine schools) and setting up two new midwifery schools and increasing the number of training staff. Human Resource Management will be strengthened by documenting the best practices concerning retention of medical personnel and giving out scholarships for students from rural areas.