Took place today, July 19, in the main auditorium of the National Public Health Institute of Guinea-Bissau (INASA), in Bissau, the official launch of the project “Support Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health towards a Universal Health Coverage System (PIMI III)“, financed by the European Union and implemented by IMVF in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Bandim Health Project and alongside the Guinea-Bissau Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP).

The launching ceremony was attended by the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Dionísio Cumba, the EU Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau, Dr. Sónia Neto, the IMVF Executive Directors, Dr. Ahmed Zaky and Dr. Carolina Quina, and representatives of the WHO and the World Bank. The INASA auditorium was also filled by various representatives of the national authorities, members of various partner civil society organisations and the various project implementation teams.

The Executive Director of IMVF, Dr. Ahmed Zaky, highlighted the centrality of the investment in the area of maternal and child health and the importance of pursuing this reference programme, progressively towards a network of universal health care coverage in Guinea-Bissau. He also expressed his gratitude to the European Union for its support, the Government of Guinea-Bissau for its confidence, and the extensive project team for their tireless work on behalf of the children and women of Guinea-Bissau.

The Ambassador of the European Union in Guinea-Bissau, Dr. Sónia Neto emphasised that improving the well-being of mothers and their children is one of the main objectives for the European Union and its Member States, which determines the health of the next generation. She also noted that this has been the objective of the PIMI programme since 2013, with significant results.

The Minister of Public Health of Guinea Bissau, Dr Dionísio Cumba, outlined the importance of comprehensive health interventions that promote the continuous improvement of healthcare provided to the entire population throughout the territory of Guinea Bissau, highlighting, in particular, the crucial importance of integrating the Simão Mendes National Hospital, a national reference hospital, in this new phase of the PIMI Programme.

PIMI III pursues the objective of contributing to the reduction of maternal and under-five mortality rates through improved access to quality reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health care. It also aims to pave the way for a system of universal health coverage, ensuring technical assistance and specific interventions to support the Government of Guinea-Bissau in building a National Health System with solid roots and resilience.

The programme will directly benefit about 343,101 children up to five years of age and 450,184 women of childbearing age in all regions of Guinea Bissau, as well as about 1,500 health professionals, and will also benefit about 2,046,289 inhabitants of the country as users of the National Health System. PIMI III will cover a total of 133 health structures of different levels and profiles, including health centres, regional referral hospitals and the Simão Mendes National Hospital.

Photos by Abel Gomes, DUE Guinea-Bissau.

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