June 30, 2017 By Emmanuel Okyne
Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Peter Versteeg, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has handed over health facilities to Kabala in Koinadugu district and Konsho in Bombali district, through the Millennium Development Goals initiative and ‘Bridging the gaps to attain MDGs 4 and 5’ project.
Facilities that were handed over to Kabala included a Maternity Hospital, medical stores and the Krubola Community Health Centre, while Konsho village in the Bombali district benefited a rehabilitated clinic, a new maternity ward and a new staff quarter.
The handing over ceremony took place in the respective districts on Wednesday.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Ambassador Versteeg, said in 2013 , the EU decided to support the efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone in achieving the two Millennium Development Goals of reducing the number of mothers who die when giving birth and reducing the number of children who die before they reach age five.
The EU Representative further said with EU support , UNICEF has helped to train doctors , nurses and health clinic assistants across the country in areas such as obstetrics and gynecology, paediatrics and radiology .
UNICEF Country Representative, Geoff Wiffin said in February, this year, President Ernest Bai Koroma, in Kenema district, commissioned 47 newly constructed health facilities across the country through the EU funded programme in the country, noting that such project would support the government in the President Recovery Priorities.
Wiffin said the project was interrupted due to the Ebola outbreak, adding that the facilities were equipped with solar panels that would supply power on a 24 hours basis.
He further appealed to pregnant women in the respective districts to make use of the health facilities, nothing that the community should take ownership of facilities and report to the appropriate authorities if anything goes wrong.
Minister of Health and Sanitation,Dr. Abubakarra Fofanah, said the districts benefited the full package of the EU project , adding that the programme met the demand of people in the districts.
He urged community members and staff to handle the facilities with care.
Medical Superintendent of Kabala Government Hospital, Dr. Hoody Lymon said the district is one of the biggest, but neglected for quite some time, stressing that staff normally declined working in the district due to the terrain.
Dr Lymon said since the facility was renovated they have admitted 466 patients and operated over 170 patients with only two maternal deaths.
District Medical officer of Bombali District, Brima Osaio Kamara said the newly constructed health facility and staff quarter in Konsho community would help the community greatly, adding that before now, patients used to travel over 12 miles to seek medical attention in Makeni.