A stakeholders’ meeting on actions against blood transfusion and obstetric practices outside hospital environment took place on Wednesday at the maternity ward at the Kenema government hospital.
The meeting, which attracted stakeholders from Kenema city and its environs, was organized by the District Health Management Team (DHMT)/ and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
In his opening remarks the chairman of the meeting who is also the Medical Superintendent at the government hospital in Kenema, Dr Alimamy Philip explained how some people in the community were carrying out blood transfusion, abortion and other obstetric practices in their premises which he said was bad and dangerous.
He noted that the people who carried out such practices were not qualified and did not have conducive environment and equipment to carry out such practices. Dr Koroma further said when these people carried out such practices and there arose complications in the treatment, “that would be the time they will rush with the patient to the government hospital sometimes in a worst state, and when the patient dies at the hospital the public looks negatively at the hospital”.
“As medical practitioners our utmost priority is to save lives and by ensuring that conducive medical environment exists,” he stated and called on his audience to draw up an action plan against the practices that go on outside the hospital. Dr Jeff K. Mathe, the Emoc Coordinator in his contribution, explained about the efforts from health staff and their NGO partners for improved obstetric and blood transfusion services at the hospital.
He spoke about the conducive atmosphere and the availability of equipment at the government hospital.
Chief Mohamed Kallon, in his contribution, said as traditional rulers they did not have knowledge in the medical field that was why they accepted whosoever posed as medical practitioners in their communities. He said they wholly supported any move by any group that was working to ensure safe medical practices in the community. He pledged their [traditional rulers] fullest support for the move.
Francis M. Kallon, a councilor of the Kenema District Council on behalf of the council, pledged the council’s fullest support and then explained about the security Task Force set up by the UN and the Councils that had its own laws and mandate. He said the Task Force would ensure that the illegal practices in the medical field were wiped off in the district. At the end of the meeting an action plan was reached among which included the nomination of four medical practitioners from the hospital that would join the UN/Council Security Task Force which would be charged with the responsibility of identifying illegal medical practices in that city and the district as a whole.