This strategic objective/area of work (WHO’s Presence in Country) provides leadership, strengthens governance and fosters partnership and collaboration with host country, the United Nations system, and other stakeholders in order to fulfill the mandate of WHO in advancing the global health agenda as set out in the Eleventh General Programme of Work. It develops and sustains WHO as a flexible, learning organization, enabling it to carry out its mandate more efficiently and effectively.
In essence, this “department” or secretariat the runs the office. It is headed by the WHO Representative comprising of support staff (Secretary to the Representative, Administrative Officer, Administrative Assistant, ICT Assistant, Programme Assistant, Logistic Assistant and Admin. Secretary/Finance Clerk, secretaries and drivers.
It runs the day-to-day affairs of the organization ranging from administrative, personnel, to finance issues. (See organogram).
The WHO Country Office in Sierra Leone as the world over provides both financial and technical support to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. It acts like a secretariat for MoHS.
THE REPRESENTATIVE’S OFFFICE
The organization is currently led by a Representative, Dr. Alemu. The Representative’s office has a Senior Secretary and a Programme Assistant. These provide direct support to this office. Their duties include; secretarial, making appointments, keeping track of programme implementation, linking with technical officers (mostly medical doctors) and keeping close contact with MoHS and its functionaries. It supervises professional and technical staff within WHO.
Partnerships and Coordination
The country office team worked with UNICEF, WFP and UNFPA in the development of a joint program to support implementation of the reproductive and child health strategic plan. A draft proposal was finalized with 3 components: Comprehensive and emergency obstetric and neonatal care; Prevention and management of malnutrition; Immunization. Donors like Irish AID and DFID are committed to supporting the joint program.
WCO continues to foster close collaboration and undertake joint programmes within the UN system: United Nations Country team (UNCT), where heads of UN agencies meet and discuss integrated activities and programmes; UN common services (instituted for joint and smooth operations); Joint UN team on AIDS (JUTA)to coordinate HIV/AIDS programme in the country; UN Communication Group (UNCG), to coordinate a common communications strategy.
WCO provides technical support to the ADB-supported and UNFPA executed project on strengthening of district health services.
The country office main continue to play active roles in the mechanisms for coordination of the in the health sector in the country; Inter Agency Coordinating Committee (ICC) – The committee oversees the planning, resource mobilization, and partnership for EPI activities; Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM)- CCM oversees the implementation of projects financed through the GFATM and meets quarterly; Health Development Partners meeting – This forum meets monthly to share information and enhance coordination of activities; PRS Sectoral Task Force for Health-This Task Force reports to DEPAC, makes the tracking and monitoring of HIPC resources allocated to the health sector; Development Partnership Aid Coordination Committee (DEPAC)–It is constituted of government ministers, bilateral, multi-lateral partners, and UN Agencies. It is established to monitor the flow of donor assistance and the implementation of agreed projects, including health. WHO provides leadership in the technical group; Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Stakeholders meeting- This a new body formed to coordinate NTD interventions in the country.
WCO continued to provide leadership and direction in the health sector, by making representations in various meetings called by partners to address emergencies and emerging health issues; meeting on Avian Flu preparedness, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership strengthening, Office of National Security Meeting: EPI technical committee meeting with GAVI mission, meeting of technical staff of UN agencies on the First Lady’s Initiative on maternal mortality