ACC takes the fight against corruption to Masanga Hospital
The Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has taken the educational approach in the fight against corruption to staff of the Masanga Hospital in the Kholifa Rowalla Chiefdom, Tonkolili District.
This was in the form of a sensitization meeting hosted at the hospital on Tuesday 22nd May 2012. Explaining the rationale for the meeting, ACC’s District Coordinator, Tonkolili District Mr. Abdulai Saccoh said it was meant to educate them on the dangers of corruption, operations of the Commission and how corrupt practices can hinder the improvement of health delivery system in Sierra Leone. He furthered that the meeting was also to solicit their support in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Saccoh stressed that the fight against corruption is a fight for all and should not just be left in the hands of the Commission. He told staff of the Masanga hospital that in order to achieve quality service delivery, they must be ready to join ACC in the fight. He therefore entreated all present to see the fight against corruption as a collective responsibility which requires coalition building and partnership. The Tonkolili District Coordinator explained the mandate of the Commission and the three main approaches it is using in the fight against corruption.
In his address, the Northern Regional Manager of ACC Mr. Patrick Sandi reminded staff of the hospital that their primary duty of saving lives makes them very strategic in the development of Sierra Leone. That was why he went on, they have to clean the hospital from corruption. Manager Sandi lamented that the fight against corruption is difficult because corruption is always fighting back, but noted that those benefiting from it are fewer than those suffering from it. He therefore called for public support and confidence in the Commission.
The Regional Manager explained some of the offences in the AC Act 2008 that have bearing with the work of the hospital staff such as, offering, soliciting and accepting bribes, misappropriation of donor funds and property, receiving gifts for corrupt purposes. He disclosed that the punishment for any of the offences is a fine of not less than thirty (30) million Leones or imprisonment for not less than three (3) years or both fine and prison term.
In his address, Public Education Officer, Mr. Al-Hassan Sesay explained the various methods of making reports to the Commission and encouraged them to resist, reject and report corruption. He reminded them of their civic responsibility to report corrupt practices going on not only in the hospital but also in their respective communities.
Mr. Sesay emphasized the Commission’s core values of confidentiality and the fullest protection for informants. He read out the free ACC mobile hotlines and explained to them the benefits of making report and the 10% reward to informers. He however warned them against making false report which he said, also constitutes an offence.
Earlier in his welcome address, Head of Business Department, Mr. Abibu Foday who chaired the meeting appreciated the efforts of ACC in fighting graft in the country. He admitted that it is only through team work that the Commission would succeed in achieving its mandate.
Mr. Mohamed B. Kamara, CHO, outpatient who delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of staff thanked the ACC for enlightening them on the offences and what they should not do. He assured the Commission that they would abide by the warnings and provide the necessary support to the fight against corruption.
Questions, answers, comments and concerns formed the high point of the meeting.
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