By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
It is now a norm for the People in the Northern District of Port Loko to be informed on the health situation of the District at regular intervals. These are referred to as Review Meetings for Stakeholders on Health Management Information Systems and are normally held every 3 Months. As outlined by the District Monetary and Evaluation Officer- Mohamed Ibrahim Sesay, the objective is to showcase the prevailing situation of the Health Status of the District. It offers an opportunity and even provokes frank deliberations on the successes so far achieved if any, as well as areas that require attention. In brief, these meetings provide room for workable solutions the Monetary and Evaluation Officer reiterated.
The most recent of such meetings was observed this week at the Conference Hall of the Port Loko District Council and was graced by Traditional Authorities, Ward Councillors and Health Workers. As usual, a presentation was made on certain aspects of the Health Service in the District. These included Family Planning, Reproductive Health Service, Antenatal Care Units, Postnatal Care and Referral Services. A particular reference was made to Emergency Obstetric referral services as well as the comparison of Pregnant Women who do their deliveries at Health Facilities and those who go to give birth in the Community. The dangers that associate with Community Deliveries such as indiscriminate Maternal Deaths were also outlined.
Doctor Tom Sesay is the District Medical Officer in Port Loko and is the brain behind this impressive idea. He informed the gathering about the Blood Bank at the Government Hospital in Port Loko which has now been refurbished and the 5 Health Centres in the District which have benefited from the Solar Energy Project recently commissioned by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma at Conakrydee in Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom. Dr. Tom Sesay further spoke of the Implementing Partners in the Health Sector and how a good number of them were now on their verge of departure. He made mention of the Bed nets distribution exercise which he described as quite successful. He therefore encouraged all to make proper use of the facilities so that Malaria and other related illnesses could be averted.
Although he was highly praised for the initiative and foresightedness, People were able to come up with salient observations and suggestions on the way forward. The Chiefdom Speaker of what used to be Maforki but has now become Bekeh Loko Chiefdom – Mohamed A Tarawali, spoke on the attitude of the Health Workers –especially the Nurses, which he said has not been good enough. He such attitudes do have the tendency to scare away Pregnant women who may end up going for Community Deliveries. He was buttressed by several other speakers who singled out certain Health Centre where such behaviours are much more common. Councillor Ibrahim Santigie Bangura who deputised for the District Council Chairman, suggested for the presence of Women especially the Traditionally Birth Attendants in these periodic Health reviews.
Below are photos obtained at the Review Meeting for a better view of how it went out there…….