People in the Kono districts will now benefit from a 50-bed maternity hospital built by UNICEF Sierra Leone.
In a courtesy call made by senior officials from UNICEF to the Minister of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Dr. Soccoh Kabia discussed the official opening of the hospital. The Minister explained of the high incidence of maternal and child mortality in the country, stating that such a complex would help complement his effort to promote maternal and child health in Sierra Leone.
He added that he is currently reviewing all health activities in conformity with the reproductive and child health project, noting the impact it would make to improve on the unacceptable Human Development Index in Sierra Leone.
Dr Kabia explained that the Reproductive and Child Health Strategic Programme of his Ministry is one of the priority frameworks he would use to build the country’s health care delivery system.
The Health Minister emphasized the need to improve all operating theatres and laboratories in our major health facilities, provide adequate medical supplies and equipment, improve sustainable water supply and energy, and build the capacity of service providers.
The Minister disclosed that the eleven years of civil conflict destroyed over 80 percent of the country’s health facilities and much medical personnel was also lost.
This, he stressed, poses a challenge for infrastructural and human resource development and also contributes to the brain drain in the medical profession.
He applauded UNICEF and other partners for assisting his Ministry to meeting the challenges ahead, and expressed gratitude and appreciation to UNICEF for spearheading the construction of the Kenema, Kabala and Kono maternity hospitals.
UNICEF Chief Child Survival Officer Dr.Rumishael Shoo said that the Italian Committee assisted with the funding of the newly built maternity complex that is about to be officially opened.
He recapped UNICEF’s commitment to complement the Health Ministry’s effort to achieve its desired maternity and child health care objectives.
Dr. Shoo stressed the need to making the complex a viable entity with functional, effective and efficient health care delivery services, noting that without the appropriate tools and personnel, the structure would remain “a white elephant.”
The Chief Child Survival Officer commended the minister for his good initiative, and on behalf of UNICEF pledged to give him the support to achieve his desired goal.
He also told the minister that the Irish Aid is willing to assist in the area of Blood Transfusion Facility, which is a necessity for every maternity unit.