June 12, 2017By Emmanuel Okyne
District Medical Officer of Pujehun District, Dr. David Bome, has stated that the district was faced with a challenge in the area of retaining medical staff posted to the district.
Dr. Bome raised the concern in an exclusive interview with Concord Times last Friday, during the Maternal and Child Health week.
He said staff, especially nurses; in most cases prefer resigning from the job rather than working in the rural areas, noting that they have always been complaining about housing constraint and the non-availability of remote allowances.
He said the situation has led to a shortage of staff in the district, which, according to him, was hindering effective service delivery and affecting the health sector in the district.
Dr.Bome urged the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to respond swiftly to the shortage of nurses in the district, adding the maternal government hospital in Pujehun has only one public health specialist and one general practitioner.
He however commended Doctors with Africa for their support to the district in providing 3 Italian doctors and one Ethiopian doctor to the district.
The District Medical Officer said the district has 12 chiefdoms and 78 peripheral health units, plus a referral hospital.
He said an ambulance system has been put in place, especially in the border areas with Liberia and the riverine areas.
“We decided to station ambulances in those areas because pregnant women were attending pre-natal clinic in Liberia via the River Moa.Such was responsible for the high maternal deaths in the district,” he said.
“We have also put mechanisms in place for hard- to- reach areas for children under-five and pregnant women. We have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with bike riders to facilitate the transportation of under-five children and pregnant women to the Maternal hospital in Pujehun.”
He said in 2016, the district recorded 25 maternal deaths, but noted that they have put a robust mechanism in place to prevent future occurrence of such nature.
In the area of Free Health Care drugs, the DMO said they usually run short of drugs in the district , but heaped praises on the Italian team for coming to their aid in providing drugs and logistical support.
He said since the district is bordered with Liberia, they were working in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Police to ensure that the free health care drugs and treated mosquito nets reach the right beneficiaries.