Multiply Annual Meeting – Sierra Leone 2023
For the first time since the start of the MULTIPLY project, members of the consortium were able to meet in person at the project’s annual investigators’ meeting held from March 21st to 24th in Sierra Leone. The meeting brought together members of the consortium to discuss progress made towards achieving the consortium’s objectives and to plan for the upcoming years.
On the morning of March 21st, more than 100 participants representing the main health stakeholders of Sierra Leone attended the opening ceremony of the Annual Investigator’s meeting. During the ceremony representatives from WHO and UNICEF gave short statements together with Montserrat Blazquez (EDCTP), Professor Foday Sahr (Vice Chancellor – University of Sierra Leone), Dr. Sartie Kanneh (Chief Medical Officer), Dr. Austin Demby (Ministry of Health) and Professor Alpha T. Wurie from the Ministry of Technical and Higher education. During this opening ceremony, the MULTIPLY project, at a glance, was presented by Professor Mohamed Samai, Sierra Leone’s Principal Investigator, and Dr. Clara Menendez, the Project Director.
The Investigator’s Meeting started after lunch, its main objective being to update all consortium partners on the status of the project in each of the Work Packages and discuss challenges and exchange on lessons learned across the three countries. The meeting was an opportunity for the consortium members to share their experiences, successes, and lessons learned since the project’s inception.
After a day and a half of the investigator’s Meeting in Freetown, the attending MULTIPLY consortium members visited some of the project’s health facilities in Port Loko and Bombali districts. MULTIPLY members had the chance to witness the delivery of IPTi during outreach and fixed EPI sessions and benefited from Sierra Leone’s experience in IPTi delivery since 2017. The visits to local health facilities provided valuable insights into the areas where more strengthening would be needed and the positive impact of the project including first hand accounts from the healthcare workers.
Overall, the annual meeting was a significant event for MULTIPLY and its members as it marked the first time that all members were able to come together in person. The discussions held and decisions made will guide the consortium’s activities for the upcoming year as it continues to work towards achieving its objectives.