September 14, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) has exposed what they refer to weaknesses in the healthcare delivery system in the country.
The organisation’s Chief Executive, Abdul M. Fatoma, said the failure in service provision, implementation of misguided health policies, plans and projects have had a devastating impact on the healthcare sector in Freetown.
He said healthcare problems in Freetown range from inadequate policy monitoring, mistreatment of patients, shortage of drugs and medical supplies in public health institutions, poorly equipped health centres, lack of labs, lack of modern medical equipment, scattered storage facilities for drugs, to proliferation of poorly constructed health centres with no water facilities.
According to him, a recent research conducted by CHARDI into the health Sector revealed stagnation in the growth and development of administrative staff, disregard for policy and authority and poor work ethics among frontline health workers.
“We have discovered that most of the drugs supplied from the Central Medical Stores to sub-medical stores across the country and selected Peripheral Health Care Units (PHCUs) were either expired or close to expiration,” he said.
Mr. Fatoma continued that the research also proved that government-owned hospitals in Freetown inflict more pain on patients and their relatives than the ailments that take them to the hospitals, claiming that nearly all the public health facilities in Freetown lack basic modern medical equipment.
At the PCMH Hospital (Cottage), he said, they discovered that there were insufficient bedding facilities at the Post-Natal Ward and that the facility was highly congested.
He claimed that there are only two specialist gynaecologists at the hospital, who carry out caesarean operations and that secret abortions are also going on at the hospital.
“We observed massive congestion and an inadequate number of nurses attached to each ward. The patient population is far beyond the available staff. Our team observed that some night duty nurses never show up,” he stated and added that some nurses come to the hospital in the morning to register, only to leave after a few minutes, pretending that they worked overnight.
Meanwhile, health authorities are yet to comment on the research findings.