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Health Minister visits Port Loko over drugs

Health Minister visits Port Loko over drugs

The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Zainab Hawa Bangura, has met with stakeholders and health personnel at the Port Loko district court barray Friday 19th to discuss issues of free health care.

At the meeting were representatives of respective communities in Port Loko.

Chaired by the Deputy Port Loko District Council Chairperson, Rugiatu Neneh Turay, she praised the Minister of Health for her performance in areas of health related issues.

Dr. Victor Max Labbie said it is as a result of the surprise disappearance of drugs at the Sierra Leone Queen Elizabeth II Quay that prompted the visit of the Minister in Port Loko.

In her key note address, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Zainab Hawa Bangura said that the statistics on the reduction of mortal deaths and the increase of facilities of children in hospitals is about 60%.

She spoke of the need for the training of health staff and informed the people of Port Loko that the quantity of drugs at the quay is practically 60%.

That she has disagreement of about 25% of the missing drugs as published by the media.

She raised concern that people have been in the habit of converting the free healthcare drugs to their personal use.

She confirmed that there are problems of accountability and transparency that affect the transportation and distribution of free health care drugs to various health hospitals, clinics and centers.

The Minister noted that UNICEF will soon commence distribution of drugs to the DMO’s and PHU’s and will also act as auxiliary to ensure effectiveness in the distribution of drugs.

She gave a breakdown of the responsibilities of parties involve in the monitoring of the drugs: the conduit of specialists that transfer information directly to the office of the Minister from various districts.

She advised the nurses to keep proper tally of their records at PHU centers and be sure of submitting correct information to their respective district offices.

A memorandum of understanding was signed with the donors in relation to the alleged disappearance of drugs.

 DFID indicated to the parties involved that they will have to pay the cost for the disappearance of the free health care drugs (personnel at the medical stores, drivers, DMO’s and PHU’s).

She advised stakeholders that drug boxes or containers should be sealed when taken to their respective destinations.

She maintained she will provide monitoring groups in the enhancement of transparency, adding that, it will start in the shortest possible time.

She informed the people of Port Loko that their medical drugs will reach them today.

By Mary I. Kamara

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