The Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with the Scaling up Nutrition and Immunization Civil Society Platform (SUNI-CSP), chaired by FOCUS 1000 and Co-chaired by Helen Keller International will organise the first National Health and Nutrition Fair on the theme ‘Gud it en welbↄdi pas gentri.’ Meaning, health is wealth. The fair will starts from the 29th of April to the 1st of May, 2016 at the Maitta Conference Center.
This Fair has been described by Health NGOs and health practitioners as a spectacular showcase of the works of the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Health NGOs and Civil Society Organisations on their services in promoting good Health and hygiene practices for mothers and babies.
It could be recalled that in the past, National Fairs known as the ‘Cacao Show’ were part of Sierra Leone’s calendar of cultural events where farmers, food producers and various cultural groups from all regions had the opportunity to display agricultural produce and showcase Sierra Leone’s cultural heritage.
In the recent past, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and its partners have been organizing the “Maternal and Child Health Week” with a model that incorporate small-scale Health Fairs aimed at promoting the key immunization and health interventions of the ministry and partners.
On the other side of the coin, the National Health and Nutrition Fair will raise awareness and bring government departments and agencies and civil society organisations in order to exhibit their activities on health and nutrition, immunization, hygiene and other health related issues.
The Health and Nutrition Fair will also serve as a one stop center where the privates sector will display their involvements and services in promoting safe motherhood and a healthy baby.
To make this event a land mark fair, several meetings and briefings have been held by the lead organizers which includes: SUNI,FOCUS 1000, Helen Keller International,SUN Secretariat, Directorate of Food and Nutrition under Ministry of Health and Sanitation, UNICEF, CRS and Government of Sierra Leone to update partners on plans ahead of the Fair.
In one of these meetings, the Chief Executive Officer of FOCUS 1000 Mohammad Bailor Jalloh has urged partners to use this Health and Nutrition Fair to glass case some of their unique drives in promoting quality care in saving the lives of mothers and their babies in Sierra Leone.
This activity will attract the attendance of the Hon. Vice President of Sierra Leone Victor Bockarie Foh who is also Chairman of the National Scaling Up Nutrition Secretariat(SUN), the Minister of Health Sanitation Dr. Abu Bakar Fofonah, Directors of the various Directorates of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, INGOs,HNGOs, CSOs, Religious Groups such as the Christian Action Group (CHRISTAG) and Islamic Action Group (ISLAG), Market Women, Traditional Healers, Bike riders and School Children, as they all will join voices to promote nutrition and immunization good practices for better Sierra Leone; hence the mantra ‘Gud it en welbodi pas gentri’.
By:Mohamed Bello Dukuray
Intern FOCUS 1000