At long last the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation have ordered the release of two 40ft containers of medical supplies meant for the Bo and Koidu Government Hospitals without customs duty at the Sierra Leone Ports Authority in a bid to promote reproductive health care in the Country.
The two containers of medical supplies and biomedical equipments were donated by members of the Fullah Progressive Union of Georgia USA branch and other charity organizations including Med Share International.
The consignment arrived in the country since December 2007, but the National Revenue Authority refused to release the drugs due to customs payment and other charges.
After persistent pressure on the Government not to auction the containers at the Port, by Civil Society groups, Members of Parliament and the Press the Government finally agreed to release the containers on duty free waiver on President Koroma’s intervention.
A representative of the Fullah Progressive Union in Sierra Leone Ibrahim El-Tayyib Bah former SLAJ President said he was very instrumental in facilitating the release of the containers at the Quay, noting that transportation was provided by the Bo City Council. He also disclosed that although it was long overdue he hoped that the target beneficiaries will be able to make gains out of this donation.
He also said that “we have put in place routine measures to ensure proper monitoring and supervision and evaluation of the overall impact of the donations on the lives of the people” adding that a Memorandum of Understanding is to be signed for periodic reviews and assessment, followed by submission of progressive reports to the Union.
Tayyib Bah intimated that the Bo Government Hospital consignment has already been handed over for immediate use amidst jubilations, while the Koidu supplies will be distributed this week.
He expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government and the general membership of the Fullah Progressive Union (FPU) for their support in helping the poor people of Sierra Leone and called on development partners, charitable organizations and philanthropists to help the people of Sierra Leone who are in dire need of assistance.Beneficiaries of the donations spoken to via -phone from Bo and Koidu expressed gratitude to the Government, Fullah Progressive Union and Civil Society groups for listening to the cries of the people to release the two containers on duty free waiver.
Medical equipments are in short supply in most hospitals across the country, it is expected that the donated equipments will go a long way in complementing Government and development partners efforts in supporting and promoting access to health care delivery in the country.