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St. John of God Hospital resumes general health services in Lunsar

St. John of God Hospital resumes general health services in Lunsar

Lunsar, March 12 (SLENA) – The St. John of God Catholic Hospital which is popularly known as the Mabessaneh Hospital of Lunsar has resumed the provision of general medical services after a lull of about six months, SLENA reports.  (Photo: Bro. Michael Koroma, flanked by the two Italian medical experts)

These services could be better referred to as Non Ebola Health Services due to the fact that Ebola cases require a different and specified approach altogether. The Non Ebola Health Services were resumed in response to a national concern especially for the numerous communities around the operational areas of the St John of God Hospital whose population can be roughly estimated at 500,000 inhabitants.

The long period of the non provision of medical services to the general public and in-patients at the hospital was as a result of the Ebola outbreak in the country. The Hospital was first quarantined and subsequently closed down after a total of 10 members of its staff had lost their lives to Ebola. This unfortunate development sent out frightening signals to the bulk of the inhabitants, most of whom maintained the perception that the hospital was no longer safe for them to seek medical attention while on the other hand, the staff and workers of the hospital themselves also developed fears of being infected should they continue to provide service to communities.

This mistrust between the people and the health service givers resulted in a lot of deaths and would have continued to wreck more havoc if it were not for the intervention of the Italian Government which has necessitated the resumption of Non Ebola health services to the general public. Therefore, the intervention of the Italian Government has not only been able to help the management of the hospital strengthened its outpatients and diagnostic activities, but has as well been empowered to admit pregnant women and surgical patients.

Bro. Michael Koroma is the Chief Executive Officer of the St John of God Services in Sierra Leone and doubles as the Director of the St John of God Catholic Hospital. He said the intervention of the Italian Government was made possible through ENGIM, an International Non Governmental Organisation operating in Sierra Leone under the leadership of one Mr. Gerald Aruna as its Country Director.

Bro. Michael Koroma said the apparent mistrust that used to prevail between the health service givers and the needy communities over the ongoing battle of Ebola in Sierra Leone would have continued its disastrous consequences on the poor and defenceless population if it were not for the intervention of the Italian Government. He said a needs assessment team was sent from Italy through its Embassy in Abidjan in response to a project proposal he authored with the support of the Port Loko District Medical Officer, Dr. Adikali Alpha Kamara. He said it was the Needs Assessment Team that properly identified the gaps between the hospital and the various communities which later forwarded its recommendations to the Government in Italy.

The Chief Executive Officer said his management has now been provided with an Emergency Mobile Hospital to help address the numerous cases the people are in dare need of, especially children and pregnant women. He said the Italian government has also intervened by establishing a Tranmetology and Orthopaedic Unit in the hospital for the treatment of road accident cases together with congenital infections.

He further disclosed plans to establish a Pharmaceutical Industry that will be producing Intravenous injections, adding that all of these will be fully operational within the next few weeks. He however maintained the hope that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation will see the need to now fully integrate the hospital into the National Health Agenda.

  Bro. Michael Koroma said he feels fulfilled and very highly gratified to be able to reconnect the Hospital with the local communities. He on behalf of the targeted Beneficiaries used the opportunity to commend the Port Loko District Medical Officer, Dr. Adikali Alpha Kamara for his immense input.  He also expressed absolute thanks and appreciation to the experts from Italy, Dr. Francesco Fusco and Dr. Francesco Vairo who represented the Italian Government as well as all those who have diversely contributed in the actualisation of the dream of his directorate. He made special thanks to his staff and workers for their dedication and invaluable service.

Meanwhile, the head of Paediatric Ward, Koniyo Sumana said work was going normal and that workers were taking all the precautionary measures.

By Hassan Bruz

Credit SLENA

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