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HomeHealthBo gets €100,000 clinic, Ambassador Stevens appeals for more support

Bo gets €100,000 clinic, Ambassador Stevens appeals for more support

Bo gets €100,000 clinic, Ambassador Stevens appeals for more support

The health sector which has, and still continues to receive adequate attention from the APC led government is being gradually transformed in post conflict Sierra Leone. The establishment of a free health care delivery for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five years is a clear indication that the country is ready to improve on the wellbeing of its citizens. In addition, the government has also established several Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) across the country to give many more Sierra Leoneans access to adequate health care.

The aforesaid reforms have encouraged international medical professionals especially German doctors to compliment President Koroma’s tireless strides to ensure a proper health care system in the country.

Recently, five hospitals in Germany’s northern city of Oldenburghave constructed a clinic worth over 100.000 Euros (One hundred thousand Euros) in the southern district of Bo, Sierra Leone.  This is `the writing on the wall` showing that health care delivery in Sierra Leone is being transformed from one that an Amnesty International report described some years back as dysfunctional to an efficient and functional sector, thanks to the commitment and visionary leadership of President Koroma.

The five hospitals inOldenburginclude among others, theEvangelicalHospital, Pious, Klinikum Reha Zentrum and Karl-Jaspers-clinic.

In a thrilling and joyous atmosphere, the official opening of the clinic took place in Oldenburg (simultaneously with the one in Bo) on Monday November 14. Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Germany, his Head of Chancery Mr. Al-Hassan K. Kondeh and representatives of the five hospitals graced the memorable and momentous event.

The remarks of Ambassador Stevens when he described the occasion as “a tremendous endeavor achieved from the generous and humane donations from the people of Oldenburg,” encouraged his audience to feel acclaimed for a job well done. He described the efforts made by the Oldenburgers to construct a clinic in Sierra Leone as laudable, for which, he added, the people of Sierra Leone and Bo in particular will always remain grateful.

He said “….we appreciate your part played in the development aspirations of my country, Sierra Leone,” and further called for more support in not only the health sector but also, education, agriculture and tourism.

With substantial brain drain adversely affecting the health sector, Ambassador Stevens did not mince his words when he informed his German audience that Sierra Leone has less than fifty medical doctors serving a population of about six million – a number that is not only dramatic but far below international standards.

Apparently, many doctors flee out of the country to seek greener pastures, while others who have attained qualifications abroad refused to return back home to render national service. This situation has not only being responsible for a shortage of health practitioners but also jeopardised the lives of the people ofSierra Leone.   It was against this backdrop that Ambassador Stevens called on German doctors and nurses in and around Oldenburgto regularly provide assistance to the clinic in Bo in order to address the high demand of medical personnel, thus complementing the efforts of Sierra Leone’s ill equipped doctors who have been saving lives in spite of harsh realities. He further acknowledged the role played by the government and people of the Federal Republic of Germany in improving the living standard of his compatriots amid limited resources.

What is most appealing is the fact thatGermanyis ready to provide support in various development projects in Sierra Leone.

On his part, the Mayor of Oldenburg, Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner said the occasion clearly demonstrated both cultural and mutual understanding, noting that the people of Oldenburghave shown their love and deepest commitment to support a country that is deemed as least developed in the world.

In his address, Dr. Ruediger Schoenfeld, from the Evangelical hospital said the idea of constructing the clinic was a direct response to the plight of the people after their horrible past. He said the completion of the project which started in 2006 will now provide proper medical assistance to approximately 500,000 inhabitants in Bo. He acknowledged the problems faced by the country and its people after the decade long civil war which is why, he said, it is incumbent upon them to intervene with medical assistance to help minimize average mortality rate, malaria epidemic and other infectious diseases in the country.

The Clinic is expected to serve the general public including those who cannot afford to pay their medical bills- a move the sponsors of the project described as a step forward in contributing towards the socio economic development of the country.

He lauded the efforts of President Koroma, whom he said has done remarkably well in transforming the lives of his people. “…. he has taken the reconstruction of the country into his hands. Even Amnesty International describes the current political situation as stable,” he noted.

Dr. Schoenfeld disclosed that the project was implemented by a German association ‘Hilfe Direkt’ headed by Gisela Bednarek, in collaboration with local project partners inSierra Leone.

Meanwhile, a similar project in the northern town ofMakeniis currently underway. This was disclosed by Ms. Karin Vogel from the Oldenburg Rehabilitation Center. The Makeni project is supported by a Trauma Clinic in Oldernburg.

She said “Our support continues, albeit in a different aspect. If, in the past months, our support has been primarily financial, we now provide support with our know-how. Now it is essential to anchor the clinic in its place of operation.”

She expressed belief that the establishments of medical networks like the construction of the Clinic in Bo and the ongoing project in Makeni is essential, noting that, medical equipment will also be provided to ensure proper healthcare delivery. Ms. Vogel has pledged their fullest support in providing medical assistance to the Bo Clinic through active engagement of doctors in Oldenburg. She said, the Ministry of Development inGermanyhas already confirmed its assistance and support to the clinic with a photo-voltaic cell plant.

Umar S. Jah- Berlin

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