ACC enlightens staff and students of MCHAIDE School in Makeni
In its quest to spread anti-graft messages to every spheres of the society, the Northern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has on Monday 7th July 2014 enlightened staff and students of the Maternal Child Health Aide Training School (MCHAIDE) in Makeni.
Speaking on the purpose of the sensitization meeting, ACC’s Public Education Officer Augustine Foday Ngobie described the engagement as a platform to educate them on the evils of corruption, streamline some of the misunderstandings, misperceptions, and misconceptions about the Commission and enlist their support in the fight against corruption. Ngobie stated that the Commission does not work in isolation but collaboratively with other pillars of integrity to combat this scourge. “The adverse effect of corruption does not discriminate, as it affects all regardless of sex, tribe or status in the society” he opined. Ngobie encouraged the students to be studious with their work as the profession is a life saving one. He stated that all must embrace the war against corruption.
Addressing staff and students on their role in the fight against corruption, ACC Regional Manager- North, Ibrahim Ahmad Kargbo, expressed profound thanks to the administration for embracing the Commission in their institution to enlighten them on its activities. He stated that as nurses in training, the country relies on them to rebrand the profession, as it has been embroiled with corrupt practices. Manager Kargbo reminded the students of their sacred role as nurses and implored them to be transparent and accountable in performing their duties. He further emphasized that ACC does not micromanage institutions but serves as a check on the excesses of public bodies and officers. He stated that Sierra Leoneans should not continue to be bedfellows with the corrupt as their act has resulted to many untimely deaths.
Manager Kargbo went on to highlight some of the corrupt practices that are plaguing most tertiary institutions such as distortion of enrollment, regular demand of unauthorized charges, favoritism, illegal admission, sexual harassment, certificate forgery, absenteeism, nepotism and payment for test and assignment papers. He warned staff and students to desist from such practices, as they constitute an offence in the 2008 AC Act. Once they become nurses and are out there serving the general public, Manager Kargbo reminded them of likely corrupt practices they may likely be embroiled in including the bad practice of stealing medicines and medical supplies or equipment for personal use, use in private practice or resale; not showing up for work or working fewer hours than required while being paid as in full, diverting budget or user-fee revenue for personal advantage, illegal referral arrangements, payment for free health care services, etc.
Agreed that corruption in academic institutions is initiated by both student and staff, Manager Kargbo encouraged the school administration to establish confidential complaint panel and publish exams regulations as best practice guide in modern day administration. On the part of students, they were admonished to serve as whistle-blowers, be punctual, honest and transparent. ‘If Sierra Leone is corruption free, health service delivery will be efficient” he ended.
Public Education Officer ACC Abdulai Saccoh explained the benefits of reporting corruption, how to report and protection for informers. He cautioned them to refrain from making false reports to the Commission as it constitutes one of the offences. He read out the ACC mobile phone numbers to enable them report to the Commission and encouraged the students to report any corrupt practices that occur in the school.
Earlier in her welcome statement, the Coordinator of MCHAIDE School, Sister Josephine Conteh-Kamara expressed delight in the Commission’s desire to educate them on corruption related matters. Sister Conteh-Kamara encouraged the students and staff to embrace the fight against graft in order to improve the wellbeing of Sierra Leoneans.
The District Medical Officer Bombali, Dr. Yakuba Madina Bah heaped praises on the Commission for its timely intervention to help shape the attitudes and thoughts of the students. He assured ACC of their unwavering support in combating graft for the good of all. Dr. Bah called staff and students to heed to ACC admonition and described it as food for though.
Participants were availed the opportunity to asked questions and make comments.
Ibrahim Ahmad Kargbo
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