A month after a short visit to the provinces, Awoko Intern Yu Nakayama wanted to return to the Pujehun district to give the government hospital a modest gift. As Solomon Rogers reports
As a swift response to one of the numerous felt needs of the Pujehun Government Hospital, Yu Nakayama, an American intern with Awoko, donated three stethoscopes and one blood pressure (BP) machine to the Pujehun Government Hospital over the weekend.
Nakayama and Awoko Reporter Solomon Rogers went to Pujehun about a month ago to interview local government aspirants and write other developmetal stories about the district during a five-day stay. After the visit, which Nakayama called “eye-opening,” the intern returned to the United States for a weeklong hiatus to attend a family wedding.
Nakayama met with several friends during his return to the States and talked about his visit to Pujehun, particularly the conditions of the government hospital. It was then that two of his contacts in the medical field offered him stethoscopes and a BP machine to take back to Sierra Leone. Acknowledging receipt of the gesture, the Medical Superintendent at the Pujehun Government Hospital Dr. Tom Sesay expressed gratitude to the Awoko Newspaper through Nakayama and Rogers for using their journalistic profession to attract support to them. The equipment, Sesay said, were very crucial to their work, especially in determining the level of ailment. Dr. Sesay touted journalism as one of the finest professions in the world, because in seeking socio-economic development, journalists gather information on the constraints and aspirations of vulnerable communities and bring them to the attention of government and donors for possible interventions. He pleaded with government and other donor agencies to lend more support to the hospital so as to save more lives in the district.
Dr. Sesay also confirmed that government was doing its utmost in ensuring the smooth running of that hospital, but more is required, especially in the area of x-ray machines and provision of laboratory reagents to administer tests for prevalent diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis, and malaria, among others. Rev. Dr. Thomas T. Samba, the Pujehun District Medical Officer, was overwhelmed by Nakayama’s gesture. He called on other journalists to emulate the good work of Awoko newspaper in presenting a clear picture of what obtains in the district and other communities of the country in the name of national development. “For such consideration toward the effective functioning of the hospital, Mr. Nakayama deserves to be an honorary citizen of Pujehun District,” he said. In a few words, the Paramount Chief of Pujehun Kpanga Kabonde Chiefdom PC Alimamy Kai Kai said the gesture was “remarkable,” as it comes from a journalist which seeks the voice of the voiceless. Nakayama said the idea of donating to the hospital all began with one interview when he and Rogers wrote a story about the government hospital during their visit a month ago. J.T. Francis, a senior nurse attached to ward 3 of the hospital, told the reporters that the hospital had only one stethoscope to share between three or four wards, which struck Nakayama enough to mention it to his friends in USA. By Solomon Rogers