Inspite of the huge financial allocation by the central government to the department of Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Kailahun, since its devolution to the local council in Kailahun, the Hospital there still continues to be in perpetual blackout.
According to the acting Medical Superintendent Majo Lamin there are two categories of health services available in the district: the primary and secondary health care components with one doctor attached to each component.
He noted that priority has always been given to primary health care which deals with under-5 cases, unlike the secondary health care unit which includes the government hospital.
The devolved funds he explained are exclusively allocated to primary health care for training and sensitization under the supervision of the district medical officer Santigie Sesay.
He said since the International Medical Corps (IMC) handed over the management of the Kailahun Government Hospital to the community they have not been receiving any support from any quarter to effectively run the hospital.
He opined that “the hospital is a permanent friend of blackout.” The hospital he said, under take most of their surgical operations through fuel provided by patients.
Talking about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Kailahun Mr. Majo indicated that, there are about 250 positive cases in Kailahun town alone with only 52 on active medical treatment with many more who have been tested positive still going around spreading the virus.
“We protect their identity for fear of being stigmatized but patients still dodge treatment” he said. He stated that strategies such as food aid, home visitation, care and support from NGO’s CBO’s and government are used to encourage them to respond to treatment.
He said HIV/AIDS is a social behavioral disease which hinges on ones attitude towards the disease, adding that most people who do not believe in the existence of the disease hardly use condom during sexual intercourse, thereby helping to spread the disease.
He attributed the high prevalence of the disease in that district to the cross border prostitution between Sierra Leone and Guinea and between Sierra Leone and Liberia by commercial sex workers.
He concluded that HIV/AIDS is a non respecter of anyone, as it hits all category of people including Medical Doctors and other health personnel, who do not adhere to precautionary measures. By Solomon Rogers just from Kailahun