April 27, 2010 Sierra Leoneâ€™s Independence and Semi-Health Care Reform Day
April 27, is synonymous with Sierra Leoneâ€™s Independence Day. Through the years the date April 27, 1961 is always remembered as the day this tiny Nation gained its Independentcefrom the British Empire and to this present day that special relationship cannot be measured in any certain terms. Great Britain is still committed to go the extra mile to assist its former colony in any productive endeavor. Sierra Leone dignitaries at home and abroad will continue to deliver patriotic speeches and school children will continue to line up the streets and school grounds in celebrations of this memorable day.Â
But after 49 years this date shall be equally remembered for something else. That is the day Sierra Leone Health Care (SLHC) after a long period of expectation finally got a boost from the administration of Dr. Ernest Koroma.
Coupled with political gerrymandering, the month of April saw elevated political activities as the current All Peopleâ€™s Congress (APC) party administration prepares the Nation for a partial Free Health Care Medical Insurance (FHCMI) covering the populationâ€™s most vulnerable in terms of health care.
The President Dr. Ernest B. Koroma, Deputy Health Minister Hon Mohammed D. Koroma, Medical doctors, officials, Nurses, and members of some supporting International Agencies including: UNICEF, UNFPA to name a few. These officials criss-crossed the country inspecting hospitals beginning their journey in the Southern Province where they covered Â Moyamba, Bo, Kenema, Pujehun, Kailahun, Bonth and Kono before coming back to the Northern Province, where they inspected Makeni, Port Loko,Â Tonkolili, Kambia and Kabala. The high profile tour was meant to prepare the nationâ€™s Government Hospitals for the implementation of the new Health Care directive which goes into effect on April 27, 2010.
The performer, focus and unassuming president Ernest Koroma chooses the date to show the Nation that it is the people who matter the most. The people of Sierra Leone deserve no less and his administration is willing to explore all possible avenues to meet those challenges. Â He knew that he took the leadership at a very difficult period in the countryâ€™s history. It was a period when the economy, education, the medical institution and the entire social fabric was falling apart. The international agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank (WB) has for years cited Sierra Leone for its high infant mortality rate. The president realized that things are not as rosy as he had expected, but that should not compromise the quality of life of Sierra Leoneans. This is why as a former political spectator he has watched through the years his country being maligned in the international community and he was quite concern about the negative image his country had received. And now that he is in the driverâ€™s seat he is doing every thing in his power to minimize the impact.
Throughout their tours of the twelve Districts the president emphasised the need for the awareness of the intended beneficiaries of the new medical program who are the pregnant women, the lactating mothers and children below five years old. The president stressed on the importance of the medical establishment to disseminate the information to the concerned populace.
After April 27, 2010 none of the above mentioned shall pay out of pocket for their medical treatments
Before the tour President Koroma increased the salaries of the medical personnel by 100%. After the rebel war this Nation of six million currently have about one hundred and sixty-eight (168) medical doctors, a situation the administration is working hard to reverse. The medical sector has been sidelined for too long, and the President realized that good medical care comes from a satisfied mind.
This medical reform by the APC administration is quite significant, because Health care is a gigantic undertaking and it is a great burden to any government. This achievement placed Sierra Leone President Koromaâ€™s administration among the few in the world and the only administration in Sub-Saharan region. In all the districts that he visited he was bombarded with a wide range of questions which he answered quite satisfactorily.
As a hands-on president he checks to see the availability of Ambulances which are an integral part of a good health care providing hospital. He checked the words in the hospitals, storages and the refrigerationâ€™s which prolongs the lives of most medications.
The international agencies officials are committed to supplying the needed medications in the entire nationâ€™s Government Hospitals. Before this period these medications will end in a local clinic of a private highest bidder while the intended recipients suffer.
The President Dr. Ernest Koroma was well received by both his Southern brothers and sisters. He was deeply touched by the multitude of cheering crowed throughout their tour. Â His audience forced him to move beyond understanding the simple â€˜Buwah, Beseh to Bondaysia seno way.â€™ (Me fambul dem wuna welcome). Â And to the North he got the never ending Mo mo, kan ka kuru or Barai mu (Thank you may God Almighty bless you).
Additionally, the APC administration in a collaborative efforts with the United States Diaspora (North American Branch) has shipped eighteen (18) dialysis machines out of a total of forty-five government dialysis machines at the approximate cost of ten million dollars (US$ 10M). Some of the equipment will arrive in Sierra Leone in May 2010. Â They will be distributed by the Ministry of Health in the twelve Districts including the Western area. Their shipment was personally financed by the Vice President A.B. Sam-Sumana. The equipment needs specially trained personnel. Whenever they become operational dialysis will be performed on patients in Sierra Leone. This development will ensure that Sierra Leoneans with kidney infections will no longer travel to Germany, London, France or Ghana to be treated. The patients will now be able to concentrate on curing themselves rather than musing on expenditure regarding traveling abroad. And they will be treated in Sierra Leone by their trained medical professionals.
Arolyn I. Koroma, Washington, D.C – USA.
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ANDREW .S.A. KAMARA
HIS EXCELLENCY DR. ERNEST BAI. KOROMA HAS PROVEN TO BE A HANDS-ON PRESIDENT AND DOES NOT SIT AT THE CITADEL OF POWER AND RELY ON BUREAUCRATS TO EXECUTE HIS POLICIES .RATHER HE GETS HIMSELF IN THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS.26th April 2010
AS CAN BE FOUND IN HIS MATERNAL CHILD HEALTH CARE POLICY WHICH IS GEARED IN ENSURING FREE HEALTH CARE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN THROUGH POST-NATANAL PERIOD ,ONE COULD SEE THE PRESIDENT VISITING THE 13 DISTRICT INCLUDING WESTERN RURAL DISTRICT TO SEE HIS DREAM A REALITY.
THE PRESIDENT SHOULD BE APPLAUDED FOR THE EXTRA MILE HE TAKES TO ENSURE THE COMING OF HIS PROGRAMMES TO FRUITION.