INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF CAMMA.
Following the International Conference of African Heads of State in 2009, the idea of Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) was conceived. As part of Government's commitment and in response towards improving the poor reproductive health indicators for women and newborn in Sierra Leone, CARMMA was launched in 2010 by the 1st Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone. The day March 27th 2010 was declared by Mrs. Koroma, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone as Safe Motherhood Day. It is a day to reflect on women's reproductive health issues, how far we have gone in addressing them and its challenges.
Soon after the lunch of CARMMA, a Free Health Care Initiative was launched by President Earnest Bia Koroma to increase access to health care for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children under five. The CARMMA Campaign has created the platform to raise awareness and increase knowledge of Paramount Chiefs, Religious Leaders, Women's Leaders and Young People in making the right decision of their reproductive health. CARMMA Committees have been established with Traditional and religious leader's networks, bye laws to ensure women deliver at health facilities, birth waiting homes and women support groups involved in community engagement to support the campaign in the reduction of Maternal and Infant Mortality in the country. The Office of the First Lady (OFL) of the Republic of Sierra Leone is strategically placed to complement government's effort in reaching out to vulnerable groups and remains committed to improving the quality of lives of women and children through the implementation of advocacy programs. Mrs Sia Nyama Koroma has been actively engaged in programs targeting pregnant women including teenagers, lactating mothers, newborns and the under-fives.
CARMMA is a Flagship project under the office of the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Her Excellency, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma advocating for access to quality maternal and neonatal services directed at reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. The campaign has been carried out all over the 14 districts in the country. Traditional, Religious leaders and young people are key partners used and trained as advocates in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality reduction campaign and the reduction of teenage pregnancy and child marriage at rural communities. This campaign is attended by developmental partners, health care workers and pregnant women and lactating mothers. The issues of women, young girls and children's health are the priority list of the First Lady's agenda to complement government's agenda for prosperity. Equally important to OFL is the delivery of a comprehensive package of interventions
through awareness creation and gender-sensitive approach in rebuilding the confidence of Health care providers in a post-Ebola situation.
Complement the Government of Sierra Leone in delivering
quality health care, education and empowerment of
vulnerable women and children.
A Sierra Leone where maternal mortality and child morbidity
are reduced with access to primary education, skills training
for young people and political and socio-economic
opportunities for rural women.