Upon assuming office in 2007, I promised the people of Sierra Leone and the rest of the world that my administration will create an open and progressive society that will improve the lives of every Sierra Leonean through ideas and action. My promise was not limited to transparency and open government, but included a vow to improve healthcare in Sierra Leone. Maternal and child health morbidity and mortality needed to improve significantly as rates reached 875 per 100,000 and 140 per 1000 respectively. As a country emerging from the ashes of war, moving from emergency and recovery towards sustainable development and prosperity, I believe that it is imperative to invest in the healthcare system and create robust capacity that is responsive to quality, timely and equitable health service delivery for all Sierra Leoneans.
With less than 1000 days remaining until 2015, our continued joint effort is needed more than ever to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Over the last few years, we have seen promising global and national mobilisation for the MDGs that were lagging furthest behind: reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Investing in life-saving commodities and family planning is value for money for every nation, and for its women, children and families. The Global Business Coalition Health, the World Health Assembly and the Women Deliver Conference are important arenas for key actors who are putting life-saving medicines and commodities on the agenda.