By Jonathan Abass Kamara
There have been several debates and comments on the current economic crisis in the country and Spokespersons for the government have been addressing the statements described as injustice to the government by trying to educate the masses.
His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
People were yearning to hear the voice of the President or his reaction to such comments described as injustice to the development strides in the activities of the government and its effort towards alleviating the sufferings of the common people. Sierra Leone until the Ebola outbreak was once described as one of the fastest growing economy in the world in promoting economic growth and development.
President Koroma a good listener, an action-development oriented leader on Wednesday November 2, 2016 breaks the long silence about his efforts towards economic growth and national development described by ill-motivated people as reckless expenditure and reckless investment during the official commissioning of three ultra-modern hospitals in the Western urban and rural area: Macauley Street, Lumley and Waterloo. President Koroma outlined the efforts made by his government since he came in to governance and the disaster caused by the Ebola outbreak which claimed the lives of many potential people disrupting human resource development and economic growth. Roads and other infrastructural development in the health sector, educational support to universities and schools, power supply that washes away the country from being the once remarked darkest city, the Free Health Care Initiative launched in 2010, a life-saving intervention to promote maternal and child health thereby addressing the reduction of maternal, child and newborn mortality, the ongoing plans to address the status of other vulnerable group through an Insurance Health Scheme, and many more including the patriotic support by people in recently held by-elections among others were catalogued in the President’s speech while commissioning the three hospitals.
Architectural design of the Lumley Government Ultra-modern Hospital
The Macauley Street hospital a 60 beds four storey building, Lumley 85 beds five storey and Waterloo four storey 100 beds hospital when completed would serve the wider communities, its environs and beyond.
President Koroma flanked by Cabinet Ministers and stakeholders of the Waterloo
community after the commissioning of the hospital
According to the Consultant and Architecture of the Construction Company IDEAS Limited all three hospital will be a service lift elevator buildings with modern facilities including operating theatre, X-Ray department, maternity and children’s ward, male and female medical and surgical wards, mortuary, triage, incinerator and other key components of international standard. One would want to ask or tempted to ask what about the human resource capacity? The good thing about the Ernest Bai Koroma led government is that his international relations is good and with support from countries like Cuba, Nigeria, China, South Africa among others plans are currently underway to jet in over a hundred and more medical specialists to join their Sierra Leone counterpart from the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone. Also Sierra Leone has been accredited for Post Graduate studies, and with the ongoing Kerry Town International Tertiary Teaching Hospital the human resource capacity is not misplacement but a move towards building a resilient health system. The health sector can now boast of more than two Midwifery Schools, Maternal Child Health Aides Training School in all districts, and last but not the least the new Paramedics school in Makeni that would help promotes task shifting in all our health facilities.
Cross section of the appreciating crowd and members of the Lumley Community
There is ongoing progress for a National Ambulance Service to strengthen referral and the Expanded Sanitary Compliance and Enforcement programme (ESICOME) design to promote hygiene and sanitation as well as disease prevention. These are all historical strides for the better future in the health sector. Also first in the history of his governance, the Bonthe district has been provided a unique Boat Ambulance service covering six riverine areas that were hard to reach areas. The fastest speed boat ambulance service will help reduce maternal deaths and foster referrals for medical and surgical cases.
President Koroma has said that as a government, they will remain focused because the people still instill trust and confidence in their administration and admonished the three communities: Macauley Street, Lumley and Waterloo to act as watchdogs and ensure they monitor progress on the construction work for their speedy and accurate completion. “We are a listening government that reacts to the demands of the people”. “Road construction is not a reckless expenditure or reckless investment but a path to economic growth and national development”, the President told his audience.
He noted the challenges encountered as a result of the Ebola outbreak and the effort on the Iron Ore Mining price among other problems, and pointed out that it is not easy to diversify the economy of a nation. The process is ongoing and not a short term or medium term approach.
“The situation is complex, and temporal but will soon get out of it”, the President said together as a nation we will achieve our goal to bring back the glory of the economy. The current situation is a temporary economic crisis and the President said he will not divert is leadership ability in governance from making the life of the ordinary man meaningful. “Our problem started in 2012-2013 but modalities now put in place in the Recovery Priority Programmes would help make the difference, he assured his audience.
Architectural design of the Waterloo Government Ultra-modern Hospital
The health sector the President said cuts across all disciplines, and poised to ensure the building of a resilient health care delivery system countrywide.
Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah who chaired the Waterloo programme noted the early response by the President to the request of the Waterloo people by providing them an ultra-modern 100 beds four storey hospital, the establishment of a new Maternal and Child Health Aide Training School, and the Western Rural District Health Management Team. A situation, Dr. Fofanah described as first in the history of the Waterloo Community.
Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah
Member of Parliament Constituency 92 Hon. Pateh Bah lauded the President, the Health Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah and his team for their strides in rebuilding the health sector to a resilient health system. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi of India saying, “Health is Wealth”. Hon Bah told his audience that the higher medical attention, the more chances to survive from illnesses.
Member of Parliament Constituency 92, Hon. Pateh Bah
There is team work in the Health ministry, the leadership believes in strength in unity, and in one ministry, one goal. Hence the division of labour in bringing the programme to success was not far-fetched. The Deputy Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman’s contribution in the whole exercise was laudable. She chaired the Lumley programme successfully and registered her unflinching support to the President’s Recovery Priorities and Agenda for Prosperity. Similarly the Deputy Minister II Madam Zuliatu Cooper who chaired the Macauley street programme also expressed her determination to ensure accountability in the health sector.
Photo: Credit Kadrie Koroma