The Ministry of Health and Sanitation Africa Development Bank (ADB) Strengthening District Health Services Project has concluded its second phase of the distribution of essential drugs to hospitals and peripheral health units in five districts.
Hospitals and peripheral health units in Bo, Bonthe, Kenema, Port Loko and Tonkolili districts are the beneficiaries of these second phase distribution.
Making the presentation at the Bo Sanitary Unit complex, the Public Relations Officer Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Jonathan Abass Kamara said the gesture was meant to assist the district health management teams in complimenting government’s efforts in the fight against maternal and newborn mortality noting the high incidence of maternal and child deaths in the country. Mr. Kamara informed his audience that the 2008 demographic health survey has indicated a reduction in maternal, under-five and child mortality, adding that with the newly established Reproductive and Child Health Directorate in the ministry, he is optimistic that the maternal and child morbidity and mortality would be reduced further.
He said the success was due to the collaborative efforts of partners in the health sectors including UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO.
The ADB/MOHS Counterpart Accountant, Mr. Morrison Momoh, told the beneficiary districts that a consignment of more drugs are in the pipeline, disclosing the arrival of ambulances that are to be handed over to them on Tuesday March 24, in Freetown.
He cautioned them about the judicious use of the drugs and the ambulances with a view to achieving the desired goals and objectives of the ministry and its partners toward the promotion of maternal and child health.
Mr. Momoh stressed the need for proper storage of the drugs, record keeping, accountability and transparency in the handling, and distribution of the drugs, adding that there will be an effective monitoring system to ensure probity and accountability. He also informed his audience about plans to effect an effective and efficient communication network for referral purposes as well as procurement of motor bikes and bicycles to enhance transport and communication systems between the hospitals and the peripheral health units.
Mr. Momoh while speaking about the other component in the project, disclosed that the rehabilitation of health centres is ongoing and appealed for strong community participation in all three aspects of the project’s components, adding that Monitoring and Evaluation Officers are currently being trained in Kenya to strengthen ouptut in their various districts when they return.
The Bo District Medical Officer, Dr.Samuel Stevens described the consignment as an invaluable gesture, adding that with commitment and dedication they are optimistic about meeting the vision and challenges of the ministry, the government and their partners.The Matron, Bo government hospital, Josephine Tucker expressed gratitude and appreciation to the ministry and the ADB and assured her audience of the judicious use of the drugs to meet its intended purpose. The Deputy Mayor, Bo City and Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Joe Pyne refuted newspaper reports about the sale of drugs in the Bo government hospital and appealed to the press to be objective in their reporting.
He described the arrival of the drugs as timely, adding that they would ensure its judicious use.
A similar handing over ceremony also took place at the Bonthe district primary health care unit where the Bo district Council Chairman Mr. Probyn and the Medical Officer In Charge of the hospital, Dr. Sesay expressed gratitude and appreciation to the ADB and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the gesture, promising that they would be utilized for the intended purpose. The District Council Chairman and the Bonthe community advocated for a Boat Ambulance and a VHS Communication network that would help ease the problem of transport and communication to the referral system.