EYEAFRICA TV: Freetown, SIERRA LEONE:-A woman officer in Sierra Leone’s army has been put in the forefront of coordinating the national effort to combat COVID-19.
Lieutenant Matilda Mattu Moiwo holds a senior position in the West African country’s National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre, which is supported by the United Nations.
“COVID-19 is a dynamic and fluid situation,” says Lieutenant Matilda Mattu Moiwo. “You can’t predict everything that will occur in advance.”
Lt. Moiwo is a staff officer of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces. Her military training serves her well in the fight against COVID-19.
As the National Emergency Medical Services Referral Coordinator in the capital city of Freetown, Lt. Moiwo has to juggle national ambulance services, clinicians at hospitals, treatment centers and isolation units, and psychosocial assistance for patients and their families. She also disseminates test results and updates a national database on COVID-19.
Lt. Moiwo remains level-headed despite the skyrocketing demands for her team since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the West African country in March 2020.
Building women’s leadership is part of government efforts to promote gender equality in all areas of life. Such moves include a new law on sexual offenses, the launch of one-stop centres on sexual and gender-based violence, and the government’s 2019 declaration of rape and sexual violence as a national emergency.
The World Health Organization provided technical support to the government and health facilities, which includes the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre, where Lt. Moiwo is a leader.
“When we make progress in gender equality, we make progress in every area of human endeavor,” says the UN Resident Coordinator.
Lt. Moiwo puts that notion into practice every day on the job. She believes that, by stepping up as a leader, she is helping dismantle discrimination against women.