Five MPs from the Parliamentary Association in the UK working for Parliamentary Democracy throughout the Commonwealth are on a five days working visit to the Sierra Leone.
The aim of the visit of the British MPs, according to their team leader Curtis Thomas was to enable the British Parliament gain a better understanding of the challenges for their Parliamentary colleagues in Sierra Leone and how their counterparts also feel of the variety of responsibilities they are undertaking on behalf of Sierra Leoneans.
She explained that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was in the country because “ it is the greatest association that brings all Commonwealth countries together and each member of Parliament have obligation to one another and that is why we are here to meet with and to share our experience and knowledge with the members of Parliament in Sierra Leone”
Yesterday, the Association met with the Parliamentary oversight committee on Health and Sanitation wherein Hon Robin Farlay from constituency 07, Kailahun district presented their work on the challenges and successes.
Hon. Farlay explained that progress has been made in the area of the reproductive and child health programmes, nutritional education and plans for the national security insurance scheme and the education on HIV/AIDS. He highlighted some constraints in the area of mental health, unemployment which is leading the youths to drug abuse, lack of adequate medical equipments and personnel in hospitals and referral centers and sub standard drugs.
Also, the Parliamentary oversight Committee on Human Rights as well as representation of the caucus of women MPs was made by Hon. Elizabeth Lavalie. She interacted on poverty reduction strategies of Parliament and Gender related issues as well as empowerment of women by micro-credit finance schemes and reduction of human trafficking.
The committee chairman of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Manni Betts Priddy explained the relations of Parliament with other national parliaments, international parliamentary Associations, relations with the media and civil society.
The interaction ends on Friday with an open forum and roundtable discussion at Parliament to be climaxed with a visit to Kroo bay and medical centers.