President Bio to Face Serious Health Concerns
The newly Elected President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio faces serious health problems and challenges as the outgoing Government left behind multiple issues which are paramount to thousands of employees at the Health and Sanitation Ministry unsolved.
Health expert who prefers anonymity, opined that hundreds of the nursing staff employed as volunteers have still not been included in the Pin-Code System for years now.
This, the expert believes, contributes to the escalating corruption in hospitals.
Many of the nurses this medium interviewed, cast the blame on the Ernest Koroma administration whom they accused of discrimination, favoritism, and negligence. They suggested that to solve this decade old problems, Bio’s government should increase the annual subventions to the MoHS.
Another problem of public concern raised by the expert is that, indisputably, Sierra Leone is a dumping ground for counterfeit drugs and sub-standard goods. Although the Pharmaceutical Board announces the confiscation of counterfeit medicine amounting to Billions of Leones on repeated occasions, the under-ground trade continues to flourish with mafia gangs overcoming any obstacles preventing them from business.
A look at the market indicates that some local and foreign millionaires have invested huge amounts of money in the lucrative pharmaceutical trade with no pre-knowledge about medicine.
The issuing of licenses to operate pharmacies also comes to question.
The untrained and unqualified pharmacists sell medicine to patients after verbal explanations with no detectors to determine the health condition of their patients, thereby increasing the death toll caused by the application of inappropriate medicine, countries like India, China and Nigeria top the list of imported counterfeit drugs.
The expert speaks of serious concern to the nation’s health problems, is the transfer of qualified medical personnel heading district and regional hospitals, saying they simply don’t welcome the idea of transfer because they also operate private clinics in the capital city. This is further worsened by the lack of sufficient supplies of medicines and logistics to provincial hospitals and health centres. The burden of patients is further felt by the lack of equipment such as X-ray Machines, CT scanner, MRI and Laboratory reagents.
Inhabitants of towns and villages travel miles away to seek medical attention. They say, the construction of health structures also pose a serious problem.
As a newly elected government now sits on the throne, the public expectation among others, is that President Bio’s puts health care paramount among his priorities.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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