By Mohamed Massaquoi
Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation (I) has said, government has rehabilitated PHUs in Bonthe district as strategy to reduce martinal and child morality rate in that part of the country and Sierra Leone as a whole.
Dr. Anthony Sandi while addressing stakeholders and members of the Bonthe Community last Thursday at the district council hall in Mattru said the government of President Julius Maada Bio is very much concerned about the health of the people especially Women and children.
He said Bonthe district has been largely deprived of quality healthcare system over the years and it is timely that swift actions have been taken to tackle some of the challenges moreso in the health sector.
Sierra Leoneans continue to be grateful to President Julius Maada Bio’s administration for the massive transformations that are going on in the healthcare sector especially for women and children.
For many decades, our country’s healthcare sector has been challenged with an outdated infrastructure. The worst phase was during the decade long civil war when all facilities throughout the country were completely vandalised. The SLPP government of late President Tejan Kabba did a lot to ameliorate what was a very dire situation.
The dreaded Ebola outbreak in 2014 also added to the problems
Ambulance services were not operational and so it was difficult for pregnant women, lactating mothers and their children to get access to medical facilities more especially so in remote communities. The country was one of the worst places for child birth
PHUs were not working well as they lacked the required health personnel thus giving the right to traditional birth attendance practitioners to takeover child birth in rural communities.
The Demographic and Health Survey recorded serious maternal and Child mortality rates in the country.
The report states that maternal and child mortality rate was at 1,165 for every hundred thousand child births. Extremely high even by third world standards.
According to data the worst numbers for maternal and child mortality rate in Sierra Leone were coming from the eastern region but Bonthe district is also grievely affected.
Dr Sandi said from 2018 to date, government through the ministry of health and sanitation has rehabilitated five PHUs in Mattru, Tihun, Mogbwemo, Moriba Town and Gbangbama in Jong,Imperi, and Sogboni chiefdoms respectively.
He further noted that five labour wards have also been Rehabilitated in Bum,Kpanga, Kemoh, Jong and Imperi chiefdoms and that 243 community health workers have been trained to managed these facilities.
“There is an ongoing construction of a new health centre at Torma, all of these can not work out well without the necessary manpower and so we have given 160 pin-codes to health workers in Bonthe district.
We have also been given the authority to resruit more 3, 000 including support staff” he said adding that government has granted three type of allowances to healthcare workers which includes biohazard, on call and location allowances.
” The supply of free health care drugs is on track, normally the free health care drugs were only for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five, but the service has been extended to the disabled and Ebola survivors. We have provided uniforms for our health workers and more importantly, there is now a health care insurance, any medical practitioner who died as a result of any hazard his or her next if kin can be fully paid.
Also three children of the person can be can be supported from primary to university,” he concluded.
,The maternal and Child mortality rates will be under 500 for every 100.000 life birth and that figure is set to reduce even further.
Under the hardworking and patriotic leadership of President Julius Maada Bio, significant investments continue to be made in our once dilapidated national health sector.