By Kadrie Koroma
A four-man delegation from the Italian Medical Team has concluded a four-day assessment visit and feasibility study for the establishment of a National Blood Bank Transfusion Centre and improved Laboratories system in Sierra Leone.
Dorigatti, Mr. Federico Bonanno and Dr. Federico Chiodi Daelli
The team comprised Prof. Piero Cappuccine, Professor at the University of Sassari, Dr. Fernanda Dorigatti, Head of Department San Rafael Laboratory, Dr. Federico Chiodi Daelli, Director, Italian Association for Solidarity among Peoples, (A.I.S.P.O.) and Mr. Federico Bonanno, Consular Officer, Sierra Leone Consulate in Milan, Italy.
Making his presentation on their findings to the various facilities visited at a meeting held in the Ministry’s conference hall at Youyi Building in Freetown, the Director, Italian Association for Solidarity among Peoples (A.I.S.P.O), Federico Chiodi Daelli enumerated the Connaught hospital Blood Bank and Laboratory, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital, Ola During Children’s Hospital, National Public Health Laboratory at Lakka, Makeni Blood Bank and Laboratory, Propose Blood Bank Site in Makeni and the proposed National Blood Bank Site at Kerry Town, as the places visited.
Dilating on the findings, he expressed concern on the challenges in capacity building and human resource hoping that there would be positive improvement in the various hospitals, Blood Banks and Laboratories visited. He disclosed plans to host a fundraising programme in Italy inviting WHO, UNICEF, EU and other partners to raise fund for the establishment of an effective functional Blood Bank Centre in the country.
Responding, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah thanked the Italian Medical Team for the visit, adding that their visit is a clear demonstration of the love and passion they have for the Ministry, government and people of Sierra Leone and to open the gateway for institutional development.
He expressed appreciation over the presentation made by the team and the problems highlighted, the way forward to achieve the desired goal, and the urge for a speedy action to strengthen the facilities by working together as a team.
The Ministry, the minister said will continue to engage the Italian Medical Team on the Implementation modalities to provide technical support.
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo recalled instances before now with the establishment of Blood Donor Clubs wherein people donate blood free of charge, adding that the support is in dire need but insufficient to make the necessary impact.
He commended the Italian Medical Team for the initiative and look forward to their support.
The team’s visit was facilitated by a working visit to Italy, led by the Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman and the Presidential Adviser on Health, Madam Yabom Sesay Koroma in July, 2016 to establish bilateral cooperation and solicit support to complement government’s efforts in overhauling the country’s health sector.
Madam Rahman and team held meetings in Milan, Lombardia and the Italian city of Rome geared towards soliciting assistance for the establishment of a National Blood Bank Transfusion Centre, Training for medical professionals and other assistance for basic health care services.
The AISPO/OSR Hospital Standard Project offers technical assistance in long and short programmes under the following: expert in long period works with local personnel, experts in short missions and organizes specific seminars and on the job training, fellowship at San Rafael hospital. The project also expands on standard operation procedure and implementation, supply of biomedical equipment and consumables, building and rehabilitation new or existing infrastructure, and the organization and implementation of logistics