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Kamakwie left out of the free health care programme

Kamakwie left out of the free health care programme

It should be recalled that on April 27, 2010, the Government of Sierra Leone announced the free health care programme which targeted pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children under five years of age as part of the Bamako arrangement to improve on the health status of women and children in the country. (Photo: Kamakwie Road)

It is rather unfortunate to note that this free service does not benefit the target beneficiaries of Kamakwie town, the second largest town in Bombali district and its immediate surrounding area.

This information was disclosed to journalists in Makeni during a press briefing organized by Health for All Coalition at their Messiri Street office over the weekend.

In his statement, the Director, Health for all Coalition, Mr. Charles Mambu, said the people of Kamakwei and its environs solely rely on the Wesleyan Hospital for medical services in the entire chiefdom, noting that the chiefdom lacks government health care facilities to implement the free health care policy.

Charles Mambu revealed that they spoke to various respondents in the chiefdom including pregnant women, lactating mothers and parents of under-five children who told them that they pay for all types of treatments since the hospital in their chiefdom is not a government hospital.

The free health care policy is very good when well implemented but there are a lot of problems, according to the Director of Health for all Coalition. According to Charles Mambu, the challenges are associated with poor road networks to remote rural areas, poorly equipped Primary Health Units, poor monitoring of the whole process by stakeholders, among others.

Mr. Charles Mambu expressed dismay over the delay in the construction of the Makeni referral government hospital which, according Mambu, started since 2005, stressing that a lot of government and donor funds are being wasted as a result of poor monitoring, reiterating that his organization will soon mount campaign to know the reason for the delay in the work.

When contacted, the Medical Superintendent at the Makeni Government Hospital, Dr. Ibrahim Bundu, said the referral hospital at Makama in Makeni has been completed and that the hospital lacks sufficient beds for accommodation which he described as one their major challenges.

Dr. Ibrahim Bundu told this press that they have installed almost all the equipment and some beds in the newly constructed hospital at Makama in Makeni city.

The Deputy Secretary of Coalition for Civil Society and Development (CCSOPD), Mr. Salieu O. Koroma said they are also monitoring the construction work at Makama and pleaded with the government to speedily the supply of the hospital beds as the people are in dire need to move over to the new building, noting that the present building is too close to the street and that it is noisy and overcrowded, causing people to take their sick relatives to private hospitals.

By Alusine Kabba – SEM

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