Residents of Bonthe District are finding it very difficult to access medical services for their well being, as the UBC mission hospital at Mattru Jong and the Bonthe government hospital are in shambles.
Both of them lack trained and qualified medical doctors and logistics to do the work.
According to investigations conducted by this press, during an on the spot visit to Bonthe District, the only referral hospital in the Bonthe main-land UBC mission hospital situated at Mattru Jong, Goba Town section is in bad shape.
The only Community Health Officer running the UBC hospital at Mattru Jong Mike Berewa lamented to this press about the appalling health care delivery in the six chiefdoms of the District situated on the Bonthe mainland describing it as tough and difficult.
Mr Berewa spoke about some of his constraints running the hospital indicating that, the lack of a trained and qualified medical doctor resident to diagnose and prescribe for patients in the entire district by the ministry of health and sanitation is most disturbing.
The lack of logistics such as drugs, ambulance, blood bank electricity, gloves, urine bags and staff has hampered the running of the hospital effectively living the sick to rot inhumanly while major surgeries are only performed by a visiting physician Dr Sulay Wai who works for Sierra Rutile management.
He noted that health workers want to work but they lack the necessary working tools and the enabling environment to do the work is not available in the hospital.
NGO donations are not forthcoming and the available ones are inadequate to address the health problems within the Bonthe main-land, “we sometimes improvise like a jungle he lamented”
He added that, most of the patients at the hospital are suffering from malaria, malnutrition and other sicknesses and the hospital cannot do much to provide them with the required medical care, because it is not available at all.
Berewa intimated that the hospital is also operating a nursing school which started five years ago and over 70 students are currently undertaking courses on state enrolled community health nurses (SECHN)for 30 months period and they are below the ages of 30.
Adding that the trainees too are facing some serious constraints as the school lacks hostels for accommodation, library for research purposes, internet facilities and class rooms for students because student’s enrollment increases yearly and they are drawn from all parts of the country.
Mr Berewa also commended the UBC mission for their current input in to the running of the hospital as they are paying salaries to the staff working at the hospital, and they expect government to take up the responsibility to provide all the logistics and personnel needed to do the work.
He also expressed disappointment over governments neglect and marginalization of the district in the area of health care deliveries and provision of logistics and trained staff to do the work, but however appealed for government intervention before another health disaster hits the district.
The Bonthe Government Hospital that is supposed to serve over 4,000 inhabitants on the island is laid waste without a medical doctor or community health officers.
The hospital wards are empty and the only patient in one of the wards is a dog.
The Government hospital on the island of Bonthe had Sir Milton Margai the first Prime Minister as its first medical Doctor.
The hospital ward with the exception of one has no beds not to talk of drugs when there are no government medical officers.
The care takers who apparently are not trained spoke to Awoko that they only spent time at the hospital because they do not have anything to do.
They noted that they hardly receive cases as most of the patients strenuously visit the United Brethren Church (UBC) Hospital Mattru Jong on the main land.
The structures at the Government hospital are deplorable as some had no roofs and most of the buildings are cracking day by day, the laboratory equipments are not even functioning some of the wards and the under five clinic has already been closed due to lack of logistics and staff to run it.
The medical doctors assigned to the districts have either been withdrawn by the chief medical officer or abandoned his post said one of the unqualified nurses who begged for anonymity because for the past two months the doctor’s office has been under lock and key.
Patients find it very difficulty in crossing the river over to Mattru Jong for medical attention. The sick rely on the few patent drug stores mostly quacks and several traditional healers are the only means of finding cure to their sicknesses.
The other five chiefdoms on the island Sittia, Ndaema, Bendu- cha, Gbap Nongobabulum, Kwamabai Krim totally have no structures or a health care unit or anywhere to get drugs.
The people are vulnerable to diseases and the most common of it is Malaria and elephantiasis and medical facilities are not available to address them. By Saidu Bah