November 1, 2019
The North- West Regional Manager of the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) Al- Hassan Sesay has warned health workers to desist from corrupt practices or face the full strength of the Commission.
Speaking at a customized meeting with the management and staff of the Port Loko Government Hospital, on Wednesday 30th October 2019 on key corruption issues and related offences in the 2008 ACC Act, he expressed dissatisfaction over the presence of corruption in health service delivery. He mentioned the recent and unfortunate encounter of two American tour bloggers with Ministry of Health staff attached at the Sierra Leone-Liberia border wherein $150 was extorted from them in a fake scam for cholera vaccine. He lamented that such corrupt act will project negative image of the country
The engagement which was done as part of the ACC’s customized meetings with relevant stakeholders in the public sector, including the PLGH is one of the many public education activities undertaken by the commission to educate the public on the evils of corruption and the benefits of its eradication as well as building public support in combating same.
Manager Sesay spoke on ethics in the workplace and the role of hospital management in fighting corruption. Recognizing the role and importance of health workers in health service delivery, Manager Sesay said corruption issues come up as a result of their daily interactions with the public. He informed them of the confrontation and enforcement drive of the National Anti-corruption Strategy and urged them to uphold ethical standards and professionalism in delivering health services to the public.
He advised them to take necessary actions against the temptation and desire for favour from the public, abuse of office, conflict of interest and help better system weaknesses. Mr Sesay furthered that hospital management is expected to play a central role in increasing monitoring and supervision mechanisms, enhance transparency and accountability in service delivery, resist, reject and report corrupt practices. He also encouraged management to update the hospital service charter and to support the ACC in curbing corruption.
In his welcome remarks, Medical Superintendent Dr MacLean Nicholas Sannah lauded the ACC for convening such meeting which he termed as a laudable step to educate personnel and as well serve as a preventive approach in fighting corruption. Dr Sannah also commended the commission for its swift move in arresting the Ministry of Health staff that were involved in scamming the American bloggers. He noted that as service providers, it is important that they are au fait with anti-corruption messages to guide their daily operations.
In her statement, Senior Investigations Officer, Madam Lucy Vandy, dilated on the offences of the AC Act of 2008 and key corrupt practices related to the health sector. She identified and explained some of the offences including soliciting and accepting an advantage, corrupt acquisition of wealth, abuse of office and position, misappropriation of funds and property, unexplained wealth to name a few. She warned all present to desist from corrupt practices to enhance service delivery.
Senior Public Education Officer Mr Sahid Mohamed Kamara who spoke on the purpose of the meeting said it was meant to educate health care workers on what constitute corruption, the offences and to solicit their support in the fight against graft. He gave an overview of the operations of the commission and solicited the support of health workers towards the fight against corruption.
On his part as chairman of the occasion who also gave a talk on how to report corruption and the protection of informants, Public Education Officer, Mr Mohamed Thullah,highlighted several methods of reporting to the commission including the toll free lines and also emphasized the importance of protecting the identity of informants or witness of the ACC. He assured them of the commission’s commitment to protecting the confidentiality of informants at all times.
“Call 077985985, 077986986 or 515 Toll free lines to report to the ACC,” he concluded.