The great Marcus Garvey’s son pilots a Paramedical School in Makeni
Dr. Julius Garvey, the last son of the late African hero in the US, Marcus Garvey, alongside officials of the UNFPA , the vibrant Health and Sanitation Minister, in collaboration with two District Council Chairmen and local authorities, visited hospitals in the northern city, where Dr. Garvey will be establishing the first paramedical school late this year if plans work well. (Photo: Flanked in the center by the two District Chairmen is Dr. Julius Garvey)
Apart from a site tour at the Paramedical School, situated along the main Kono/Freetown highway in Makeni, the team over the weekend visited the Massanga, Magburaka and the Regional hospitals respectively. The purpose of the visits to those hospitals, was to see how best mechanisms could be put in place for the reliable achievement of the said project affirmed the country’s pro-active and young female Health Minister, Miatta Kargbo.
In her brief say, Minister Kargbo highlighted that some aggressive work will have to commence by next week to see the rapid completion of the remaining construction works on the Paramedical School, including renovation and installation of modern utilities for the first Paramedical School in the north part of the country.
The Minister said that the school will be recruiting determined, fitted and capable young men and women who will be ready to learn certain health programs like surgical, and pediatric, to name a few, as part of filling in the gaps of health administrators and clinical assistants, having noticed that in provincial setups, most patients regularly visit the hospitals for medical treatment and not surgical cases. Being optimistic, she stated that the recruitment requirements will be looking out for PHUs in certain levels of the profession, who must have been local residents within the communities. She added, that the process is compounded by the readiness and willingness of certain health workers who would want to work in remote areas, adding that her Ministry is prepared to offer what she called, “a benefit package” to staff after the school formerly opens in November this year, if all goes well. Looking at the global employment trend, these are mechanisms she is putting in place for unavoidable situations where doctors are overloaded and perhaps absent for services. In such cases she pursued, some of the recruits will have to serve as clinical assistants for reliable and efficient medical treatment of related health issues. She also confirmed that staff quarters will be available to ease accommodation constrains for trainees, trainers and facilitators.
Dr. Julius Garvey has said that whatever he does in this case, he represents his country, the US. He expressed his willingness as a start, to boost the health sector in Sierra Leone especially the “emergency health care system” as the case may be in countries like Malasia, Mozambique etc. Apart from quality teaching, learning materials and equipment for the school, teachers from overseas will have to train trainers, but on a routine basis, the philanthropist softly maintained. His zest is to see a reliable and affordable emergency health care system, specifically for rural residents.
The team headed by the Health Minister, was primarily keen to compare with the three big hospitals in Bombali and Tonkolili districts, such as the Masanga, Magburaka and the Regional Hospital in Makeni.
At Masanga, where the hospital offers at least, three years training to Nurses and Nursing Aids, the Minister and team interacted with foreign volunteers of the hospital. Technical and professional ideas were shared, and supervision of the hospital was also conducted by the Minister and team.
The hospital head at Masanga hospital, Attish Patel (General Acute Medicine) was pleased to receive the team. Among others, Patel expressed hope that by 2016, the Masanga hospital will be self sufficient with some European surgeons, as a matter of fact that the hospital, despite proximity, patients regularly come from all parts of the country including Freetown for treatment.
UNFPA’S Bannet Ndyanabangi was also part of the all day tour. Despite ongoing support to two midwifery schools in Freetown and Makeni, Bannet further confirms UNFPA’s readiness to giving its utmost support to the project, apart from other sister organizations’ contributions.
Mr. John Shanghai Koroma was the host for the Bombali District Council and Mr. Alusine Kamathor Sesay, for Tonkolili District. The two determined young Chairmen were much happy and were equally lauded by the Minister, particularly over what was seen as their tireless monitoring efforts to the hospitals.
According to Mr John Ditto (Deputy Chairman Bombali District Council), the project will have to generally benefit not only trainees but rural Communities in that part of the country. Ditto challenged that there are more beneficial programs already initiated by the Bombali District Council and that as part of his immediate boss’ vision, many of their development plans will soon come to reality, but with time, the Deputy Chairman stated.
At the Regional Hospital in Makeni, the team was received by Dr. Taqi upon inspection through the hospital. Thrilled by team upon inspection at the government hospital in Magburaka, was Dr. Jimissa Agustine. The team also met with the Paramount Chief of Bombali Sebora Chiefdom, PC Bai Sebora Kassangha!! and Deputy Education Officer- north, Haja Ramatu Kanu.
In another angle, the Minister managed to extend her time, addressing and counselling school girls of Masanga town on the dangers and precautions of early marriage and teenage pregnancy. By virtue of her gender class, it is believed that her message was well understood and downloaded; looking at her young age, a teenager in attendance was spotted wailing to a colleague.
Most importantly, the Minister’s hard and non-compromising questions to Medical Superintendents of the three hospitals upon inspections smartly sent a wake-up-call for more seriousness into their duty dispensations. The Minister was greatly admired by many onlookers including patients in the visited hospitals. The bulk of praises went to President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for his wise decision of onboarding such a woman of substance into his cabinet. But there was a historic reminder about the great freedom fighter – Marcus Garvey. But as rumours went by, many people followed suit to actually see Dr. Julius Garvey. It is a blessing to see the last son of such an African Hero, Marcus Garvey. In their little corners, little prayers for utmost success of his project and investment in Sierra Leone were said quitely, but happily.
More details in subsequent editions.
By Alie Mozart Sesay
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