International Rescue Committee (IRC), an international non-governmental organization donated 32 aspiration pumps and a blood bank fridge to the government hospital in Kenema at a special ceremony held at the under-five clinic hall of the hospital along Combema road in Kenema city.
In her opening remarks, the chairperson of the ceremony, who is also the chairperson of the Health Committee in the Kenema District Council (KDC), Councilor Fatmata Dassama thanked everyone for coming together to grace the occasion. She said the primary healthcare is one of the functions devolved to the Kenema District Council, adding that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is one of the pillars of the poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).
Councilor Dassama said KDC is responsible to deliver quality service to the people of Kenema while working with various developmental partners in the district to achieve it’s goal.
She says IRC and KDC are “two bedfellows” and that IRC has been operating in Kenema district since 1999. IRC has been implementing Emergency Obstetric Care (Emoc) and other projects within the district with the aim of contributing to the reduction of maternal and child mortality rate in the Kenema district with funds provided by European Union (EU) and Irish Aid. IRC has procured Emoc equipment with part of the fund provided, thereby demonstrating their commitment and determination to achieve their aims and objectives.
“It is our fervent hope as council,” Dassama said, “that other developmental partners will emulate the good work of IRC as the people of Kenema are in desperate need for development.” The councilor also hoped that the IRC Emoc equipment will be utilized for its intended purpose. She appealed for more funding from IRC so that they can continue their humanitarian assistance in the district.
Councilor Anthony Fonie, the representative of Mayor Chief Brima Kargbo of the Kenema City Council (KCC), thanked IRC for their humanitarian assistance in the Kenema district, which he says the KDC “greatly appreciates.”
He appealed to IRC to continue looking for more funding in other places to continue their humanitarian support to the people of Kenema district. Mr. Fonie also appealed to the District Medical Officer (DMO) and the District Health Management Team (DHMT) to ensure that the items donated are used for their intended purpose.
He said IRC is doing well but there is more to be done in the health sector in the district.
Giving an overview of IRC, Field Coordinator of IRC Tamba Gborie disclosed that IRC came into Sierra Leone in 1999 and it has been implementing projects with the hospitals and Peripheral Health Unit (PHU). Projects implemented with the government hospital include: Lassa fever project, capacity building, SARC/GBV (Gender Base Violence) and the Emoc project.
Formally donating the items, Mr. Gborie said he is pleased to donate the Blood Bank Fridge and Aspirating pumps to the government hospital for the district. “This is not the first and is not going to be the last donation by IRC,” Mr. Gborie said. He added that IRC has in the past donated huge quantity of drugs, two new Ambulances and other materials to the government hospital in Kenema.
He appealed to those present and everyone in the community to do everything possible to protect the items, saying that if anyone sees the items being misused by anybody, let the person immediately report to IRC office or the hospital authorities.
The IRC Programme framework was translated to participants during the ceremony. IRC’s major aim is to save lives and strengthen institutions and promote social cohesion. Mr. Gborie advised that whosoever is going to handle the fridge to do so with care as it cost high money.
The Field Coordinator further disclosed that the Emoc project is going to close by November this year if the donor does not fund the project anymore.
Vehicle spare parts for the supervision vehicle that were donated by IRC sometime back were also donated to ensure the longevity of the vehicle.
Dr. Jeff Kembale Mathe, the Emoc Project and Blood Safety Coordinator, in his contribution advised that the fridge should be handled with care and that it must not be overused.
He disclosed that its handling capacity is 350 Blood bags at a time and it cost Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security in October 2000, women the world over have been engaged in activities that aim at (re)building particularly war-torn societies, restoring relationships and promoting social cohesion.
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