By Jonathan Abass Kamara
The Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Brima Kargbo has reiterated his Ministry’s commitment to improve its human resource capacity towards building a resilient health system across the country.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo
Updating District Medical Officers from the four regions at a meeting held in the conference hall of the Ministry in Freetown on key issues within service delivery and the Presidential Recovery Priorities, Dr. Kargbo disclosed plans for the deployment of 43 foreign doctors due to jet in between now and December 2016 to beef up the Ministry’s human resource capacity. The team will be working with their Sierra Leonean counterpart for effective and efficient service delivery. The distribution, he said, would be on a patient / doctor ratio.
He reminded the District Medical Officers about their roles and responsibilities at district level in the implementation of activities, stressing the need for effective collaboration between the District Health Management Team and the Medical Superintendent in meeting some of the challenges affecting the smooth implementation of health care delivery services.
Dr. Kargbo commended their efforts in executing the 6-9 months Presidential Recovery Plan successfully and encouraged them to redouble their efforts for the successful implementation of the 10-24 months Presidential Recovery Priorities. Key among the priorities, the Chief Medical Officer said is the area of maternal and child health and maintaining a resilient zero case.
He informed them that WHO is in the verge of restructuring its staffing at district level as well as Epidemiologist Advisers and Community Engagement Officers that are expected to work in collaboration with the District Health Management Team, with them the District Medical Officers taking the lead.
Dilating on the drugs storage, distribution and utilization, Dr. Kargbo told his audience that the National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit (NPPU) reform is ongoing and stressed the need for the District Health Management Team to work in unity with the NPPU District Focal Persons for the purpose of transparency and accountability. He maintained that for the proper management of the District Drugs Stores, District Medical Officers should see themselves as lead to ensure probity and accountability by improving monitoring, supervision and security at the District Drugs Stores.
On the Joint International Health Regulation with Sierra Leone being a signatory, Dr. Kargbo spoke on the Joint Evaluation in 10 thematic areas: surveillance, emergency preparedness, radiation element, health hazards among others to help in the prevention and control of diseases.
He called on the District Medical Officers to engage their colleagues at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security noting that most diseases originate from animals that calls for team work in addressing some of the major concerns.
Dr. Kargbo also briefed the medical officers about the current situation and progress on the National Emergency Medical Service (NEMS) and the Expanded Sanitary Compliance and Enforcement (ESICOME) Programmes.
The Director General of the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS), Dr. Momodu Sesay in his briefing called for the DMOs support and cooperation, pointing out that they are no longer moving the programme as vertical but to an integration which is a process that takes time.
Director General NAS, Dr. Momodu Sesay
He reiterated that in revitalizing their efforts they need both the services of surveillance Officers and the District Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents including the Pharmacists to achieve their desired goal in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Sesay disclosed that come January 2017, the Secretariat will evoke the Memorandum of Understanding for effective service delivery, and spoke on critical issues which include early infant diagnosis and transportation of specimen.
He said working as a team, he is optimistic of achieving the desired objective.
In his contribution, the Director of Primary Health Care, Dr. Joseph Kandeh spoke on the current training across the district for paramedics, the training modules for Community Health Workers, the completion of a geo-mapping for over 3,000 Community Health Workers and the sustainability of the programme.
Director of Primary Health Care, Dr. Joseph Kandeh
The Director of Hospitals and Laboratory Services, Dr. Victor Matt Lebby reminded the District Medical Officers about the role of District Surveillance Officers as ownership in the collection of notifiable samples and the policy on specimen transportation.
Director of Hospitals and Laboratory Services, Dr. Victor Matt Lebby
He also underscored the importance of Bio-Safety and Bio-Security, Data security, Laboratory registers, reporting system and team work between the Medical Superintendent and the District Medical Officers, disclosing that his Directorate has also made available diagnostic machines for TB, HIV and general clinical services.
Other highlights include updates from District Medical Officers and contributions from the Manager, National Expanded Programme on Immunization and Child Health, Dr. Dennis Marke.
Photo: Credit Kadrie Koroma