The chief for one of the city’s most vulnerable and deplorable community Kroobay, Chief Pa Alimamy “Kagbempa” Kargbo 1, has lauded Orange Mobile Telecommunication Company for bringing maternal healthcare to his community at no cost.
“Orange has healed our wounds and am standing here today as a proud man leading a community which has seen the greatest development in recent times”.
Chief Pa Alimamy Kagbempa was in an emotional state while giving out a vote of thanks to Orange SL, the country’s leading telecom provider in the country for rolling out the pilot phase of the “Safeguarding Maternal Healthcare in Sierra Leone”, a project that would cater for pregnant women and lactating mothers in the community. The project is being supported through the Orange Foundation, a Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Orange brand across countries it’s operating in.
Pa Alimamy Kagbempa said that his dream as godfather of the community has come true through the munificent help of Orange. He thanked Orange and its partners, Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Icap for selecting Kroobay as the first beneficiary community. “Our women will now get peace and great hopes of safe deliveries, our happiness and gratitude as a community is endless this day” a smile filled Chief Pa Alimamy Kagbenpa exclaimed.
“Orange has done their bit and it is huge, we are calling on other corprrate houses to emulate Orange Sierra Leone’s gesture”, he ended.
“The Kroobay community is a home to more than twenty thousand people, and the constraints women face in child delivery has been painful”, he stressed.
Explaining why they chose Kroobay among other communities in rolling out the first phase of the project, CEO of Orange Sierra Leone, Madam Aminata Kane Ndiaye, said they considered Kroobay community because of how vulnerable the community is in terms of getting basic social amenities.
Madam Ndiaye maintained that the project was solely rolled out for women, women whom she thinks must not be worried about taking care of their babies, but most often lose their lives either before delivering or after delivering.
Mrs. Ndiaye said the project must be taken with all seriousness, taking into consideration the high rate of maternal mortality the country has been faced with.
“We establish a formidable partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and with Icap in order to reduce maternal mortality in Sierra Leone”, she emphasized. “It is not emphasis to state that infant mortality has been a big play in putting the lives of our women on the line across the country”, she continued.
Studies and researches show that one out of seventeen women lose their lives during child birth. This has placed Sierra Leone as the country with the highest rate of Infant mortality in the country.
“We have identified Kroobay community as one of the communities with the highest percentage of maternal mortality, but with this project we study, we hope to get some quick results”, she said.
Mrs. Ndiaye stated that Orange Foundation during this project would be providing community health promotion, baby care boxes for mothers, SMS alerts for checkups and IPC measures for maternal health service.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Austin Demby, lauded Orange Sierra Leone for what he described as a huge milestone in the country’s health system.
“We’re happy as a ministry to work in partnership with you guys, the venture taken is indeed huge and I’m calling on those to benefit from this project to grab hold of it with both hands”, he stated. Minister Demby maintained that the Ministry of Health, Government and their partners has over the years been working to minimize maternal and infant mortality in the country and is happy the numbers have been going done by the day.
“One of the most important event in the life of a woman is to give birth to a nice healthy baby that would grow up to be somebody productive in society”, Dr. Demby said. Minister Demby avers that the wellbeing of a baby should not only rest on the shoulders of their mother but the shoulders of all.
“For one hundred thousand child birth, seven hundred and seven women or children are expected to die, and that is unacceptable”, he stressed. “So as a nation and in front of you all today, I want to make a commitment to you that we are going to join forces and bring that number down”, he affirmed.
The Safeguarding maternal healthcare is one of two projects currently being rolled out by the Orange Foundation, the other being the building of modernize learning (Schools) across three Districts namely; Kambia, Moyamba and Pujehun Districts.