The Makeni Government Hospital which lies at the center of the city catering for some one hundred and five thousand nine hundred people is short of staff, with only one doctor and one matron; inadequate drug supply and no running water.
In an exclusive interview with the only trained and qualified doctor servicing the over 105,900 residents in Makeni city and its environs Dr Adikali Alpha Kamara at the hospital last Monday he noted that the Makeni government hospital is a very small hospital compared to other hospitals in other districts throughout the country.
Dr Kamara disclosed that the hospital has four wards, to admit both female and male patients, have a pediatric ward and a maternity unit. In total the hospital has 70 beds which he said are insufficient.
He explained that he “admit patients through the outpatients (OPD), have a laboratory, a dispensary or pharmacy, kitchen for the provision of food for the in-patients, and have a births and death registration unit and voluntarily confidential counseling for HIV/AIDS unit”.
The only doctor disclosed further that they have a theatre, and treat all conditions, adding that the hospital is a complete referral center as it is in a provincial headquarter town.
The hospital he said is running on a partial cost recovery basis, and “we have exempted cases including the school going children, pregnant women, under five children, the aged above 60 years, emergency cases – I mean an unconscious patient and road accident. All these ones including the destitute are treated free.”
He also revealed that “75% of the cases we treat almost receive free medical treatment and we do caesarian sections, emergency obstetrics care – all these ones also receive free treatment” he said.
At the time of the interview, he stated that they “have 20 patients or more per day, and a patient pays 5,000 Leones for admission at the hospital until he or she is discharged”.
On Electricity supply, Dr. Adikali Kamara pointed out that ever since he took up office in 2001 there has been no supply of electricity in the hospital from the government.
Last year he said, “I tried to talk to the National Power Authority (NPA) in Makeni to bring in the power lines to the hospital but they demanded some amount of money” to do the work.
“We have one generator and a small one – 5 KVA for emergency surgery, so it is actually not possible to run a 24 hrs electricity supply for the hospital and besides we have serious constraints in servicing the generator and its fuel supply.”
He disclosed that “at times we use 40 gallons of fuel per week to run the hospital.”
This he said is a very big and serious problem. “Actually since the beginning of the year to mid May we had no electricity in the hospital so it’s only now that we received fuel supply for six hours electricity” he lamented.
From beginning of the year to mid may he said they were doing operations and surgery continuously with the five KVA generator that they used for emergency surgery, noting that there was no provision for electricity at night though now they have started for the past one week.
On the issue of nurses and matrons Dr Kamara disclosed that it is a serious cause for concern for the medical practitioners “especially with doctors in the provinces because we cannot provide quality medical services today without nurses and unfortunately for me here in Makeni which is the provincial headquarter town of the north we have 6 State Registered Nurses including the matron, 7 SECHN nurses including both male and female and the rest are auxiliary nurses”.
Citing his requirements he said “I need not less than 20 staff nurses and for SECHN not less than 50 so that we can be able to run the hospital.”