May, 18, 2020
By Mohamed Sesay
The Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Osman Sankoh has on Thursday 14th May, 2020 assessed facilities at Njala Hospital.
The new Acting VC&P was there to ascertain the hospital’s preparedness in serving the University and its communities and the fight against the Corona Virus disease (COVID-19), as part of his ongoing assessment of the various areas of the University.
He noted that Njala hospital serves the entire student population and the surrounding communities and it is one of the three referral health facilities in the District.
The Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Mohamed Koker briefed the new Acting VC&P on the current status of the hospital by highlighting six major areas which according to him needs significant improvement. These areas includes: the laboratory, the blood bank, the dispensary, the operations theater, the labor ward and the processing of clinical waste. He maintained that involving the Private sector would be a possible option in order to enhance the services of the hospital.
while responding to the challenges of the hospital, The Registrar, Njala University Dr. Muneer Jalloh intimated that the University has funds for the management of the hospital but they have not been able to allocate such funds due to the lack of transparency and accountability.
He urged the VC&P to trigger the MOU already signed some few years ago between the University hospital and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. This according to him will provide the much needed support to the hospital.
On his part, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Njala Campus, Professor Bashiru Koroma also used the meeting to intimate the Acting VC&P about the strides taken so far in the fight against COVID-19 by the University.
He continued that on the 31st of March 2020, the outgoing VC&P, Professor Abdullah Mansaray called on him to reactivate a taskforce to coordinate the fight against the pandemic.
He added that the taskforce was constituted mainly comprising various departmental heads such as the security, the Dean of students, the Community Relations Officer and the hospital authorities. Adding that it was agreed that the Senior Medical Officer,Dr. Mohammed Koker heads the committee.
Professor Koroma further emphasized that he wants the taskforce to be scaled up as a recognized entity by the University Court and Senate to serve all emergencies.
The Senior Medical Officer Dr. Mohammed Koker, stated that the coronavirus disease is a worldwide pandemic and that is why the activities of the taskforce are in line with the national agenda.
Dr. Koker pinpointed the many achievements of the taskforce- a nightly one to two hour radio program has been instituted for sensitization on the COVID-19; eleven checkpoints has been reactivated manned by security personnel and backed up with effective monitoring; food stuffs have been provided for the checkpoints, and weekly meetings have been conducted by the taskforce.
He however, highlighted some key challenges which according to him are hampering the work of the taskforce and these include: finance, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Shelter for the checkpoints, Rain boot, Thermometer etc.
“We are hopeful to win this fight, but myself and my staff are unprotected, therefore, we are at risk”. he said.
The Acting VC&P expressed keen interest in the development of the hospital and thanked the Senior Medical Officer, Dr Koker for what he described as his selflessness to serve his compatriots.
Professor Sankoh also entreated the taskforce to find ways to access the dry ration from the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) and encouraged all to bring transparency, fairness and accountability to Njala University as that is what his concept of ‘bongology’ means. He reiterated that the University makes full use of the Alumni Association to uplift its image.
He promised to give his fullest support to the hospital and ended off by donating a sum of one million Leones to compliment the effort of the taskforce.