Stats-Sierra Leone Launches 2019 DHS Key Indicators
At a press conference held on Thursday 7th November 2019, Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats-SL) launched the key findings of the 2019 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted past May 2019. According to the findings of the survey conducted by Stats- SL in collaboration with the MoHS, DFID, USAID, Global Fund, World Bank, UNFPA and other stakeholders indicates that significant progress is being made in the health sector between 2018 and 2019. This, according to Professor Mallam O, Statistician General, in his statement, should form the basis for all planning of programs undertaken by the government and other bodies.
Speaking after the presentation of the relevant data gathered in the survey, Prof. Sankoh maintained that for all the indicators surveyed, there has been significant improvement in those sectors and this is an indication that serious work has been done by the government through the MoHS to improve on the service delivery of the health sector. He maintained that though they were faced with challenges along the way they were able in just 6 months to conduct the said survey and come up with a credible data that can be used to inform government policies. Challenges of finance was overcome when they, together with their key partners were able in a few hours to raise a little over US$1 million to fund the project and he is proud that his team were able to provide a credible data that is now the basis for all other program planning.
He admonished the media to share the good news. Credible data for national development recognised the strong collaboration between his institution and its partners.
He disclosed that prior to the commencement of the survey, he admonished his staff to go to the communities and ask the right questions and provides the relevant information that Stats-SL will use to produce the report. He stressed that in their endeavor they developed a concept, which they followed to the letter. For the sake of transparency, they incorporated the ICF from the USA to do the DHS so as to make the whole process internationally credible. He further made reference to the recruitment of staff at the institution when he took over, that he was adamant that those who are to be recruited as enumerators should have a first degree; a move that made him infamous, as he was accused of bringing book into play in the recruitment process. He stressed that the credibility of the data they collect demands expert handling of the questionnaire.
According to the survey, whilst there is improvement in infectious diseases, the trend is that non-communicable diseases are roaring their heads. He stressed that this survey will serve government and other interested Parties to use this data to plan their respective programs.
He urged Sierra Leoneans to come to Stats-SL for any data they may need.
Representatives from the UNFPA, USAID, DFID and other speakers expressed pride in being part of efforts to produce the data. They maintained that whilst there were challenges faced by the institution in gathering the data, they were able to overcome them and produce a very credible statistics, which has shown that there has been marked improvement in the health sector, especially in the maternal and child mortality ratings and other areas.
An ICF consultant, Ms. Deborah Collison, did a presentation of the data and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Donald Bash-Taqi, chaired the meeting.
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