Minister of Health, Prof. Alpha Wurie
By Kadrie Koroma – MOHS
Minister of Health and Sanitation, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie has called on stakeholders to support Partners In Health (PIH) to rebuild and equipped the burnt-out Under-five and Eye Clinics at the Koidu Government Hospital for effective and efficient service delivery to the people of Kono and its environs.
Speaking during a stakeholders/donor meeting on Friday February 14, 2020 at the District Health Management Team (DHMT) hall in Kono, Prof. Alpha Wurie commended the role of PIH in providing quality health care in the country.
He informed his audience that Kono hospital has been one of the difficult health facilities to manage in the country, adding that within a period of time, four structural services have been burnt down, as it is the only centre with an oxygen plant in place.
Prof. Wurie reiterated that the Ministry cannot talk about Universal Health Coverage without ensuring that there is oxygen supply in maternal and child care hospitals
He stated that one of the major gaps in maternal and mortality rate is related to adolescent pregnancy and young girls that get pregnant which is a concern, because the nutritional status of the mother is key in having a healthy child. He added that as a Ministry, they have recognize that although they are talking about six months of exclusive breastfeeding, but some of the mothers could not breastfeed all that period of time indicating that they required therapeutic food to be able to support the child.
The Health Minister disclosed that the Ministry has embarked upon the linkage with a British University to be able to produce their own therapeutic food, and have appealed for a million dollars every year from Japan and other agencies to provide therapeutic food for them.
He added that the Ministry should also be in a position to be able to support itself in preparing food for babies within six months and two years, which is another goal to talk about in the Universal Health Coverage.
He furthered that PIH has supported the Ministry in putting a proper management structure in place, supporting the Community Health Centres in the district and has been distributing oxygen from the secondary hospital to other peripheral services among others.
He said the meeting is to solicit support from partners not to only rebuild the burnt structure but to construct a modern building with equipment.
Executive Director, Partners In Health (PIH), Jon Lascher said PIH has been working in Sierra Leone for five years since the Ebola outbreak.
He said their work was centered in Kono district where they work with the Ministry to rebuild the health system, work with the National Leprosy/TB Control Programme in Lakka and the Sierra Leone Psychiatric hospital.
Jon Lascher disclosed that on June 16, 2019, one of the import buildings across the hospital was burnt down through electrical problem, adding that they are proposing a three-storey structure and in each of the new building, they are hoping to build an adequate space to meeting the aspirations of the Ministry of Health.
He said for the three-storey building, they need $1.25 million to construct, equip and furnish the building. He added that in the event they can’t raise that fund, they would proposed a two-storey building which is $937,144 and will loss the Non-Communicable Diseases building, kitchen, canteen and the lecture hall will be reduce.
The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation One, Dr. Anthony Augustine Sandi.