Officials of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with the members of the District Health Management Team (DHMT) in Kenema district have held a health meeting with the people of Joru town and its environs in the Gaura chiefdom in the Kenema district. Joru town is about 18 miles from the district headquarters town of Kenema on the Kenema – Jendema highway.
In his opening statement the chairman of the programme who is also the town chief of Joru town Pa Bockarie M. Kanneh welcomed all and sundry in the meeting especially delegates from the various section of the chiefdom to grace the occasion. He thanked the workers of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for organizing such programme in his chiefdom. He said health is wealth, explaining that even if someone has money which covers the rest of the earth but the individual is in poor health the sick person will not even look at the money.
In his keynote address the district mobilization officer at the government hospital in Kenema Sheik Gibril Patson Songu disclosed that this year has been declared by the International body as International year of Sanitation and that no Non Government Organization (NGO) will again implement any toilet construction for any community as all the equipment for toilet building are available in their various communities. He encouraged and appealed to every household in the chiefdom to construct their private toilet. He added that for any community to be classed as a good living environment sanitation must be paramount. Stressing that most of the diseases which kill in our communities are caused by lack of good sanitation and unless they are controlled there will be continuous health hazards in society. Mr. Songu disclosed to the people the departure of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) at the end of this month and encouraged the people to engage themselves in development activities in their chiefdoms to raise funds for emergency cases to be taken to the government hospital and that any services requested for the purpose will be shared by the community people. Mr. Songu also spoke about the spread of HIV/AIDS to his audience saying that most children get HIV/AIDS through their parents. He cautioned health officers that any pregnant woman going through the clinic for the first time must go there with their husband to be tested together for HIV/AIDS. He encouraged the authorities of the chiefdom to work with the youths and he advised that not all cases should be directed to higher authorities but to be settling it among themselves, as youths are development tools of any country as they are the work force.
In his contribution the Paramount Chief’s representative Mohamed M. Jaward assured the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of their commitment to the ministry’s initiatives by making sure that sanitation prevails in the chiefdom.
The Vice Principal of Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School in Joru Vandy Sovula in his contribution appealed to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to help the school with first aid kits as students are mostly victims of most diseases in the community. He appealed to the chiefdom authorities to take sanitation business seriously as health is wealth.
The Health Officer of Gaura chiefdom Abdul Gbaskeh Bangura in his statement assured all of their commitment to improve sanitation in the chiefdom, as health is wealth. A youth representative Augustine A. Abdulai in his contribution also said they will embark on the general cleaning exercise on every last Saturday of every month as their major commitment to the sanitation drive. Meaning contributions came from the section chief Mohamed Massaquoi, and Traditional Birth Attendance (TBA) in Joru Madam Jebbeh Gondoma, Ansu Koroma the youth chairman in the chiefdom and Janet Hindowa from the government hospital in kenema.