November 21, 2016 By Emmanuel Okyne (Intern)
DMO of Bombali District and CEO of Christian Aid Sign documents
Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) at Kagbaneh village in the Biriwa Chiefdom and Magbakoli village in the Makeri Gbanti Chiefdom, Bombali district have benefited from a rehabilitation project, coupled with the provision of furniture and equipment from Christian Aid Sierra Leone worth Le250 million.
The items handed over include; two solar panels, WASH facility cupboards, M3 maternity beds, three motor bikes, beds and mattresses, among others.
According to the Country Director of Christian Aid Sierra Leone, Jeanne Kamara, they always work with partners to create change in people’s lives.
She explained that when she travelled to London and briefed well-wishers about the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, they decided to set up a fundraising program in order to help in the recovery process of the health sector.
She continued that a need assessment was done and that consultations were carried out with residents of the chiefdoms as to what were their priority areas.
“It came out clearly that both PHUs were in dire need of renovation and furniture. I am imploring community members to make good use of the facility in the chiefdoms and stop giving birth at home,” she urged.
Paramount Chief Salifu M. Kalawa III of Biriwa Chiefdom said the PHU was built over seventy years ago without any major renovation being done, adding that they had approached several non -governmental organizations for support, but to no avail.
He appealed to inhabitants of the chiefdom to take ownership of the facility by visiting it on regular basis for medical attention.
Also, Bombali District Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Osiao Kamara stated that one of their mandates was to reduce maternal and under- five deaths in the district.
He commended Christian Aid for their timely support, adding, “other NGOs had opted to do renovation but when they saw the work that was to be done, they never showed up.”
Dr. Kamara promised to take proper care of the facilities and appealed to community elders to talk with their subjects to make good use of the facility.
On his part, Development Planning Officer of the Bombali District Council, Frank Kanu stated that when a need assessment was carried out in 2013, it came out clearly that both facilities were in dire need of renovation and that when such opportunities came up, they recommended both facilities.
Kanu assured that the council would be working closely with the District Health Management Team (DHMT) to monitor the facilities
Community Health Officer at Kagbaneh Health Post, Rosaline Dissa, said people stopped visiting the health post when it was in bad shape.
She said the new labour room would hold up to 10 deliveries.
“With the new items, we have seen an increase in women and under- fives visiting the clinic,” she said.
Giving an overview of the project, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator of Christian Aid, Simon Turay, explained that it started in 2014 with a focus to rehabilitate the PHUs by installing energy and WASH facility.
He revealed that a total of twenty (20) PHUs have been supported in the six districts they were operating presently.