World Vision’s agile digital solutions are delivering innovative healthcare support in Sierra Leone

His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio thanking World Vision
Thursday, August 6, 2020

In continuing to accelerate Our Promise digitally, World Vision has introduced several effective and cost-efficient digital innovations to aid the Sierra Leonean healthcare system. As part of our COVID-19 response, we have reintroduced the Mobile Training System (MOTS). The MOTS digital learning platform was piloted by World Vision with community health workers using interactive voice response technology (IVR). The platform delivers voice-recorded training content in local languages on the topics of Vaccines and Disease Surveillance, as well as Outbreak Response during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

The 'new normal' presented by COVID-19 prohibits gatherings and calls for social distancing to curtail the spread of the virus. World Vision's MOTS is already nationally acclaimed as the safest means of training healthcare workers around the country –including those in the most remote locations– with no need for clustering.

As a development partner, World Vision continues collaborating and advocating for broader impact. We are working closely with the Government of Sierra Leone to deploy digital health solutions to accelerate progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 that seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages.

Upon the request of the Ministry of Health & Sanitation’s eHealth Coordination Hub, Word Vision organised a handing over session of the training platform to the Government and people of Sierra Leone, which took place in Mattru Jong, Bonthe District, Southern Province. Amongst various government partners in attendance at the function was His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio. In his speech at the ceremony, the Head-Of-State expressed his desire to cascade the benefits of the digital technology to the rest of the country in order to support the Ministry of Health & Sanitation in its quality health delivery.

In his address His Excellency also affirmed the importance of World Vision’s digital venture in healthcare delivery: “On behalf of my Government and people of Sierra Leone, I acknowledge the intervention of World Vision International Sierra Leone especially. We know World Vision is operating in several places in Sierra Leone, but in Bonthe District in particular, their footprint is all over the district and they have done a great job and I want to use this opportunity to say thank you World Vision. My Government, through the Ministry of Health & Sanitation’s eHealth Coordination Hub, approached World Vision International to find innovative ways of supporting the remote training of healthcare workers. This technology could also help manage risk communications during public health emergencies and help reduce the high burden of disease, as well as maternal and child mortality rates through public health messaging.” he said.

World Vision's National Director fir Sierra Leone, James Nkémba Chifwélu, highlighted World Vision’s support towards the Sierra Leonean healthcare system, noting that digital technology is playing a pivotal role. He emphasised the gains made by the AIM health project in Bonthe District which is utilising COMMCARE technology for child monitoring, prenatal and postnatal referrals.

“At the time we decided to deploy this technology, Bonthe District was showing a very high number of maternal death, and we had to partner with the ministry to come here and use this solution despite all the barriers we have here; geography –you name it. We were here to deploy this technology and ensure that it is a solution”. James further shared with the President that the introduction of digital technology into the healthcare delivery system has helped reduce maternal mortality in the district, and that the organisation plans to support the Government in cascading the learnings and successes in the district to other parts of the country.

As an organisation, World Vision believes that sustainable development starts and ends with healthy, nourished and well-educated children free from violence, malnutrition and lack of dignity. As a Christian organisation, we are aware that faith is something that must be accompanied by action. This is why we have made helping children, women and adolescents to survive, thrive, and transform an organisational priority in Sierra Leone and everywhere we work with an agile strategy (Our Promise).