The Vice President, Alhaji Sam Sumana past Friday officially commissioned and opened an ultra modern regional Eye clinic at the government hospital compound along Combema Road in Kenema City.
The modern complex was funded by Sight Savers, Irish Aid and the government of Ireland.
In his keynote address the Vice President Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana thanked the Almighty God for making it possible for him to be part of a major historic event of commissioning a regional eye clinic in his home land, which is the east.
He said the eye clinic commissioning was part of the series of development agenda of the All People’s Congress (APC) under the leadership of the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in bringing development of the nation thereby making the life of its citizens better.
Alhaji Sam Sumana assured the people of Kenema City that the government of Sierra Leone will be installing Street lights and putting tar on major Streets in some cities across the country very soon and Kenema will be getting about 950 Streets light.
He lauded the effort of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sight Savers International and the Irish government for nurturing the eye department at the Kenema government hospital to the level of a clinic that can now offer surgical and optical services for curable and correctable eye effects, adding that it is a big development move for the people in the Eastern Region.
Alhaji Sam Sumana, recalled the friendship between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Irish government as far back in the 80s which he said has developed so much that in the five years the Irish government through Irish Aid have been helping the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to improve on the welfare of blind people in the region and thereby finding ways of preventing it.
The VP described the regional eye clinic in Kenema as one of the best in West Africa at the moment.
The Resident Minister East, Williams Juana Smith thanked God for making it possible for all of them to witness the historic even. He also said the expansion of services in the eye departments will go a long way to reduce the incidence of blindness in the country and the region in particular.
The Minister noted that the cataract disease which is regarded as the leading cause of blindness can now be removed by a simple surgery in Kenema City, rather than referring patients to other regions like Bo City in the South, Serabu and Freetown among others as it was done in the past. The Minister disclosed that the primary and secondary health care services have been devolved to local Councils in the country which implies that health care delivery services have been placed in the hands of communities people themselves. Minister Smith appealed to all to be vigilant at all times in ensuring that the drugs sent to the region do not find their ways across the borders into the neighboring countries. By Saffa Moriba