Bombali: 24th October, 2018.

In the Northern Province, Bombali District, military and police personnel have made strong commitments in working with the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Team to reduce the rate of child mortality in that part of the country.

Police and Military officers have made commitment during a community engagement meeting organised by the CHAMPS partner FOCUS 1000 on Wednesday 24th October, 2018 at the Rogbaneh Police Station and Teko Barracks respectively.

The meeting has enabled the government forces to understand the objectives of CHAMPS Project which seeks to provide more precise, accurate and comprehensive information about how, where and why young children are getting sick and dying. The CHAMPS Community Engagement team also used the platform to inform participants on their roles and responsibilities in partnering with the project.

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Personnel at the meeting expressed their dissatisfaction on the high rate of child mortality in the district for which they believed that it is their role as security personnel to protect and safeguard lives and properties; therefore, with the introduction of CHAMPS project, they pledged their fullest support and commitment to work effectively and efficiently with all partners for the reduction of child mortality in the District.

Evidence shows that Sierra Leone is among the countries with the highest infant and Under-5 mortality rates in the world.

The recent 2017 Multiple Indicator Survey published by Unicef, WHO, UNFPA, Government of Sierra Leone and other partners shows that the probability of infant dying between birth and first birthday is 56 percent and Under 5-mortality rate is 94 percent countrywide.

The CHAMPS team will continue its engagement with dependent of these personnel to enable them have the right knowledge to prevent children from dying of preventable causes.

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By: Bridget Lewis- FOCUS 1000 CHAMPS Communications Officer