The 4th technical assistance mission to PIMI II – Integrated Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality in Guinea-Bissau – took place between February 8 and 20, 2020. This mission consisted of 4 experts in the areas of public health, community health, health economics and communication.
In order to monitor the state of implementation of the Programme’s activities and identify the main challenges facing its intervention, the team of experts that constituted Technical Assistance met with the Delegation of the European Union in Guinea-Bissau, with the various implementing entities of the IPMI (IMVF, UNICEF, EMI and Bandim Health Project), with the beneficiaries of the action; with various national health sector institutions (Ministry of Public Health of Guinea-Bissau, General Health Directorates, etc.). ), and with other development partners in the health sector (notably the World Bank, Portuguese Cooperation and the Global Fund).
To support the understanding of the progress already achieved and the challenges still facing the implementation of the PIMI, the Technical Assistance mission included a field visit, in particular to the Gabu Regional Hospital as well as to the Tantan Cosse Health Centre in the Bafatá Health Region, both structures in the eastern hinterland of the country. The Technical Assistance team also contacted several community health agents, representatives of the beneficiary population and representatives of national health institutions.
As part of this 4th mission to monitor Technical Assistance, the 3rd meeting of the PIMI Steering Committee was held on 18 February 2020 at the Portuguese Cultural Centre in Bissau. This meeting was attended by the Minister of Health of Guinea-Bissau, Magda Robalo, the Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation, Simona Schlede, the Technical Assistance team of PIMI II, representatives of the IMVF, EMI, UNICEF and the Bandim Health Project.
This meeting of the Steering Committee was, once again, a privileged moment of broad discussion regarding the state of implementation of the programme and, in particular, the evolution of the various indicators included in the PIMI II indicator matrix. Special attention was also given to the discussion of the communication strategy and visibility of the Programme, in particular at the level of the communication strategy of the free of charge policy, the structuring pillar of the PIMI II intervention. Given the advanced state of implementation of the PIMI II Program, scheduled for completion in May 2021, particular emphasis was naturally placed in the discussion on the future prospects of Maternal and Child Health care in the country in a post-PIMI period.
Overall, the Technical Assistance team stressed the importance of the activities pursued by the IPMI, reporting in particular on the frankly positive evolution of the main clinical performance indicators of the IPMI component implemented by the IMVF, which in some cases already exceed the goals set for the end of the project.
The program directly benefits around 320,000 children under the age of 5, around 400,000 women of childbearing age, and more than 1,200 health professionals from 132 health facilities in the country. The action will indirectly benefit the entire population of Guinea-Bissau (1,881,005 inhabitants). The IMVF’s component in this project is financed by the European Union with the support of Camões, I.P.
Photo credits: Camões, I.P.