The state of health care for Sierra Leone remains challenging as it is apparently difficult for the country to respond adequately to health hazards. In a laudable ceremony conducted at the British Council Auditorium on the 25th June, 2009, the Freetown City Council in collaboration with Coalition of Civil Society and Human Rights Activists launched Health for all Coalition.
Officiating the ceremony, the Deputy Mayor of the Freetown Municipality Gibril Ibrahim Bakarr Kanu in his opening statement mentioned that promoting health issues require partnership of different bodies. As a result the drive taken by civil society is fully appreciated and supported to ensure that we attain a healthy city and a healthy citizen.
Making a statement, the chairman of civil society and Human Rights Activists, Mr. Charles Mambu pledged his support to enhance a clean and healthy city. He further stated that Health for All Coalition will do everything within its domain to contribute to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality rate that has plagued this country for so long. By so doing, he added, his office will ensure effective distribution of needed materials to pregnant women, lactating mothers and babies. He also noted that poor sanitation is not really good news to the city, more especially the blatant disposal of wastages, unprotected latrines and waste pipes around which people sit and sell consumable products. He also promised of launch an intensive campaign on Freetown City Revenue Mobilization sooner than later, which will be used to generate income.
Highlighting health issues faced by the growing population of the country, the Minister of Health and Sanitation Sheku Tejan Koroma stated that about $3oom is needed yearly to cater for the health problems faced by our country. He further stated that most of the sicknesses we encounter are derived within our respective environments. “Sierra Leoneans should learn to take care of our environments to achieve a sick-free habitation” he said.
The District Medical Officer, West, Dr. Samuel J. Smith stated that providing adequate medical facilities to hospitals will help ease infant and maternal mortality. Stakeholders and civil societies should render their own contributions to facilitate the drive, and conducting a programme of this nature, the Freetown City Council and coalition of civil society and human rights activists have demonstrated a step to acquire this dream. He considered the event as timely and important and advised Health for All Coalition to equally engage youth groups on massive sensitization on HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and gender based violence.
Launching the ceremony the Mayor of the Freetown Municipality Herbert G. Williams noted that the FCC is looking forward to partner with concerned organisations to work towards keeping the city healthy. Health issues, he noted further, is a universal concern for which Sierra Leone is no exception. Combating this in Sierra Leone he stated, involves the participation of all and sundry. We all should therefore work in making sure a cleaner and healthier city is attained.