The Port Loko Government Hospital is currently being hit by an acute shortage of medical staff to deliver effective medical services to the people of Port Loko District.
This press visited the deplorable hospital in Port Loko had an exclusive interview with the District Medical Officer, Dr. Victor Lebbie on the health condition in the district.
Dr Lebbie disclosed that there is only one midwife in the entire Port Loko Government Hospital and this has made it very difficult for the hospital to cope with the pressure of attending to pregnant women. The only nurse serving as midwife has been forced by the prevailing situation to be permanently working overtime to attend to pregnant women.
The DMO further intimated that there are 96 Peripheral Health Units in the district and they are all without a midwife. He added that pregnant women are only left at the mercy of Traditional Birth Attendants.
Dr.Lebbie lamented that one major problem they are faced with is the deplorable condition of the roads as most of the peripheral health units are located along the river line and most of these areas are not accessible by vehicle. Most of the maternal mortality deaths occur in the remote areas where TBA’s attempt to treat certain serious and complicated cases that are above their knowledge. He also stated that most of those cases are delayed until they see the patient at the point of death before they refer the person to the hospital. Due to the deplorable condition of the roads most patients die on their way to the hospital.
Dr. Lebbie hastened to underscore that the lack of enough staff in the district has not in any way led to an alarming rate of Maternal Mortality in the district as the few professional staff available are doing their best to handle the medical situation. The DMO also complained of water shortage in the hospital as they mainly rely on wells as their source of water.
The Medical officer called on Government and other humanitarian Non governmental organizations to intervene in the deplorable health condition in the district. He pleaded for government to encourage young medical graduates to go to the provinces to help solve the unhealthy situation. By William Freeman