UK Government provides 1 million bed nets for malaria prevention in Sierra Leone
British Minister for International Development, Stephen O’Brien MP (in photo), arrived in Sierra Leone on Thursday 29th July 2010 in the first visit to Sierra Leone by a member of the new United Kingdom coalition government.
The new UK Coalition Government is fully committed to improving the health and well-being of women and children. During his visit, Mr O’Brien travelled to Bo District to witness the impact the Free Health Care initiative is having on reducing maternal and child mortality in Sierra Leone.
During his visit to Bo hospital Mr O’Brien was pleased to announce that the UK government has been able to respond quickly and provide 1 million bed nets to support the Government of Sierra Leone’s aim of providing every household in the country with bed nets by December 2010. Reducing the devastating impact malaria has on the lives of so many is a top priority for the new UK government. In Sierra Leone, where malaria is responsible for a quarter of all deaths in the country, it is estimated that this bed-net campaign will save the lives of 4,400 Sierra Leonean children every year.
- Stephen O’Brien MP is a member of the British Government and was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development on 13 May 2010. Stephen O’Brien is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Eddisbury, a seat he was elected to in July 1999.
- Prior to his appointment at DFID he was a Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care. He was also Chairman of the All Party Group on Malaria, and Chairman of the Malaria Consortium between 2006 and taking up his Government posting.
- Malaria is responsible for 25% of all deaths in Sierra Leone. Nearly half of all those attending health facilities do so because of malaria, and malaria is responsible for nearly 40% of all hospital admissions.
- The Government of Sierra Leone is determined to reduce the transmission of malaria and is aiming for every household in the country to receive three long lasting insecticide treated bednets by the end of 2010. 3 million nets are required to achieve this. The campaign has so far received pledges for nearly 2 million bednets. DFID will buy the remaining 1 million bednets needed to ensure universal coverage is achieved.
British High Commission, Sierra Leone
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