Access to health care in the second city Bo is in dire need of attention as only five medical doctors serve a population of 160,608. This gives each one of the five medical doctors the humanly impossible task of watching over the health of some 32 thousand (32,121,6) residents. (Pop.figures-Statistics SL)
The situation is even more alarming when seen from the district level. Bo District with a population of 484,882 people gives each one of the five medical doctors the equally daunting task of overseeing the health status of nearly 97 thousand (96,976,4) residents.
The medical superintendent Doctor A.T Muana of the only referral hospital in the district – Bo Government hospital – which is situated in Bo City told Awoko that he fears the lack of human resource at the hospital to match with the growing population in Bo city and its environs seriously affects the health sector. He further disclosed that they had problems with lack of enough drugs and not too good conditions at the 10 wards plus the outpatients. No adequate beds and mattresses, linens, window curtains and bed materials for all the wards.
Despite all of these problems Doctor Muana proudly noted that the hospital mortality rate was less than 6% which he stated was an acceptable figure.
Doctor Muana explained that the sick load of patients who go to the hospital on a daily basis varies between 75 and100, and these are spread among the different departments. The most common reported cases at the hospital he said were malaria, typhoid, chest infection, hypertension and complications and anaemia. In the maternity area, he reported that the most common cases were problems of obstructed labor, ruptured uterus and bleeding in pregnancy.
He further pointed out that the Bo city hospital was a tertiary hospital for which at least 15 doctors were needed and that the 7 Cuban doctors who were aiding the hospital had since left before the general elections.
The Medical Superintendent also disclosed that the hospital faced serious problems with water supply but that this was augmented with assistance from the Church of Latter Day Saints to construct a reservoir and pump water using the submersible pump.
The Bo city government hospital was constructed between 1919 and 1922 and majority of its buildings are still unchanged.
“We are calling on people to assist the hospital for the construction of a perimeter fence as there are lots of crossing points in to the hospital. If that help is given, it will be one of the greatest things one could do for the Bo government hospital” Doctor Muana appealed.
Dr Gregory George, Mohamed Vandi, S.B Sesay, Aiah Dabundeh and Dr Muana are the five medical doctors battling with ten nurses and volunteers in all cadres at the hospital.
Dr Muana revealed that nurses posted to the hospital take a lot of time for them to be absorbed in to the government service and the poor conditions of service was responsible for the high attrition rate from the government service.
The medical superintendent appealed to government, “improve upon the conditions and give us a conducive working environment; encourage staff to further undertake training in their respective areas. Also provide adequate drugs and other materials that will enhance staff performance” By Ishmael Bayoh just back from Bo