The deputy minister of health and sanitation, Sheku Tejan Koroma, has said 150 doctors are now in the public service compared to more than 450 prior to the escalation of the war.
Explaining about the constraints the health ministry is facing at the opening of a five-day annual health review at the Bintumani Hotel yesterday, the minister said the ministry was faced with enormous problems.
He said the unacceptable high infant and maternal morbidity rates continued to indicate the socio-economic difficulties facing the majority of the people.
He noted that after the re-establishment of local government administration, successful decentralization of certain operational activities required significant changes within the ministries to work in line with the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
Proffering ways for performance in the health sector, he said continued focus on the provision of quality essential services to children and women of childbearing ages. Also, the ministry will continue to present a more strategic overview of recent expenditures and projected activities over the period 2008-2010.
Mr Koroma further highlighted reorientations of roles and responsibilities in all of the sector management functions to include budgeting, procurement, disbursement, supervision, and monitoring and evaluation.
He stressed that the ministry attached great importance to the issues of performance and accountability for which tools and procedures to improve financial accountability in all the districts had been established.
Given the underlying tools, he went on, the ministry would reinforce its role at the forefront of health sector development, promote and strengthen the autonomy and capacity of decentralized operational units, while developing the complementary support functions, and to apply transparent criteria for assessing program results and staff performance.