Health Ministry’s Clinical Care for Flooding Victims Kicking at the National Stadium
The Wednesday September 16, 2015 disastrous flooding which attracted the Office of the National Security (ONS), Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Sierra Leone Red Cross and other partners with President Koroma taking the lead has become very challenging for the government and partners in the fight. (Photo: MOHS Nurses at work)
The historic flooding for Sierra Leone in the Western Area claimed the lives of unfortunate children and men and women, loss of properties and to some extent break the matrimonial chain that binds husband and wives. Those that were drown and saved needs medical attention, and the health impact on the affected communities remain a challenge and a concern in case the prevailing circumstances ignites a situation for cholera outbreak, diarrheal , typhoid and other water borne diseases including skin rash.
Presently, the Information and Communications, Water Resources, Defence, Finance and Economic Development, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Energy, Lands and Internal Affairs Ministries have all been triggered to ensure an integrated approach in complementing each other’s effort to address the plight of the affected victims. The erection of the established clinics at the National Stadium and the Brima Attouga Mini Stadium and the handling of referral cases at the various government health facilities by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to provide free professional services to victims must be applauded.
Practically, the services are provided at various points with the provision of Ambulance services at the Stadiums and strategic points.
The deployment of doctors, nurses, midwives and other key staff at the Stadiums to attend to the affected victims- pregnant women, lactating mothers and children, positioning of infection, prevention and control measures against infection, and the sanitation and waste management to protect our people from cholera, diarrhea, skin rash and malaria which may result to post flooding health care services is commendable.
With all the short term measures now put in place to address the plight of the victims, an urgent mid- term and long term plans are key for the Lands Ministry and the government in relocating the victims ahead of any other natural disaster.
From the grapevine and the media, I heard that the Sierra Leone Housing Corporation (SALHOC) said they have the capacity to construct a low cost housing in three months if the land is provided. How true or certain the statement is, still remain a concern for the Lands Ministry, SALHOC and the government.
As I move down to my little town of Mateboi, I would like to applaud the Health Ministry for the good work and to implore them to continue with their emergency preparedness plan against cholera as the current situation has the potential to ignite water borne diseases if not controlled.
By Jonathan Abass Kamara
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