The minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Socco Kabia has told journalists that the status of his ministry is less than satisfactory since he took over.
The minister was speaking over the weekend at a press conference organized by the ministry of Information and Communications at the Youyi building in Freetown.
Dr Kabia said the mission statement of his ministry was to provide affordable and accessible good quality health care for the people of Sierra Leone.
He said he had seen the ministry’s mission statement but asked where the ministry was and what its status was.
“In this regard the current status I have to say is less than satisfactory as we still have a very low life expectancy rate, our infant and maternal mortality rates are the highest in the world. We are at the bottom at the human development index,” he lamented.
“In terms of under five mortality rate there are one hundred live births compared to Ghana which has 120 live births, Liberia 235, Mali 217, and The Gambia 113. With infant mortality rate, Ghana is at 76, Liberia 157, Mali 99 and Sierra Leone 159. Life expectancy, Ghana 59, Liberia 40, Gambia 54, Nigeria 47, Senegal 47 and Sierra Leone 40,” he disclosed.
The minister mentioned the socio economic conditions as another challenge having impacts on the environment, the use of improved drinking water “which is about 46% of the population and improved sanitation only 30%.”
He revealed statistics on doctor per population as 62,000 people per each doctor, per nurse 3,500, population per surgeon 500,000.
“In the field of human resources we are also constrained as we have only 64 doctors in the country which is very much disheartening, and there are only five pediatricians, seven gynecologists, 225 nurses and 87 midwives,” he revealed further.
Continuing his revelation he stated that, “we are in a serious situation and our challenge [as a government] is to turn this around for which we have outlined strategies for the health care delivery and we have established certain priorities which include improved conditions of service, improve the quality of our services by tackling the many cases of quack doctors and fake drugs.”