Bo Mar. 10, 016 (MOHS) - As Health Ministry continues consultation on its proposed Expanded Sanitary Inspection Compliance and Enforcement, stakeholders in the southern region commends the initiative of the Government of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
During a Consultative meeting held at the Sidami Memorial Hall, Bo City, March 9th, 2016; Paramount Chiefs, councilors and other stakeholders drawn from the four districts in the southern region: Bo, Moyamba, Pujehun and Bonthe expressed their appreciation on the proposed Expanded Sanitary Inspection Compliance and Enforcement and the National Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) Projects which the government is poised to implement countrywide.
The Chairman Bo District Council, Joseph Munda Gbindi and the Resident Minister South, Muctarr Conteh lauded the initiative, describing it as a major public health development for the nation and also very critical for the country's Post Ebola Recovery Programme.
The Chairman noted that the establishment and implementation of the two programmes demand hardwork and total support from all stakeholders.
They registered their unflinching support and lauded the Minister Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah for his innovation and vision in ensuring a resilient health system strengthening cuts across the country, pointing to the minister's initiative on the establishment of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) as beneficial for both the NGOs and the districts in the region.
Giving the purpose of the Consultative meeting earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Mr. David Banya described the meeting as historic under the leadership of the Minister of Health, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah in taking sanitation to the door steps of the people.
He said the initiative of the Minister would never be completed without the involvement of the community stakeholders particularly Chiefs and councilors. He implored every stakeholder to play their own part in ensuring that these initiatives are implemented and become sustainable.
Delivering his keynote address with a power-point presentation, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah said the Ministry plans to extend pre-hospital care and emergency transportation to the wider population through a service that will include call centre, dispatch and sign post, efficient management of ambulance fleet service to ensure improvement of the emergency units at regional hospitals and other health facilities.
He spoke of the launch of the President's 2010 Free Health Care Initiative and dilated on two of the key barriers preventing mothers and children under five from accessing health care and health facilities due to cost, pointing out that under the 10-24 months Post-Ebola Recovery Plan, the Ministry plans to increase access to emergency medical care to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five as part of the wider efforts to implement President Koroma's priority to drastically reduce maternal and child mortality in the country.
The President, he told his audience believes in collaboration and consultation as a good and profitable initiative to building a resilient health care delivery system in Sierra Leone. The input of the people the Minister said is critical to both the NEMS and ESICOME systems, adding that the revival of the Public Health Aide or Sanitary Inspector as they used to be called many years ago, with their new skills, training and law enforcement power would bring back the past glory of the culture of hygiene practices in the rural and urban communities. He described the two initiatives as a catalyst own by the people and must be utilize for the desired purpose.
Dr. Fofanah presented the ugly scenery of an ambulance carrying charcoal, while dilating on the misuse of ambulance, footages of lack of maintenance culture and recklessness in handling property meant for the utilization of the country and encouraged Paramount Chiefs, Councilors and the other stakeholders to support the initiative for posterity.
Contributions during discussions on the recruitment and deployment of ambulance staff, cost of running the project, service for riverine areas, administrative set up of the ambulance, penalty for the misuse of ambulance and hoax calls among other concerns formed high point of the interactive session.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.