April 12, 2019
By Kadrie Koroma-MOHS
The quest for a resilient health system for Sierra Leone is the focus and dream of the dynamic action-oriented Health and Sanitation Minister, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie.
As Sierra Leone joined other countries the world over in commemorating World Health Day on the theme: “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere and Health for all”, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie,during the Public Health National Operations Centre hosted Cockrill in Freetown, optimistically told his audience that “Sierra Leone will rise again in the health sector with a health system that has strong primary health Care that delivers better health outcomes, cost efficient and improves quality of care of its people”.
Prof. Wurie believes in team work, and he`s leaving no one behind on the lessons learnt during the Ebola outbreak in rebuilding the country’s health systems. He is aware of the health systems research in fragile and conflict affected states, as the country`s worst health indicators, and has consequently been able to collect higher quality catalogue with a nationwide distribution of Free Health Care life-saving drugs and infrastructural and human resource development of rebuilding resilient health system for Sierra Leone.
“Strong and resilient health systems are critical to population health interventions”, Prof. Wurie noted. Building a strong health system in a fragile state is Prof. Wurie`s current challenge and thus poised to improve on quality of health care for all, and to bring services closer to the people.
The extension of health care to all people has been an objective of national health system for many, and the strategic approach by President Brig. Rtd Julius Maada Bio has been in his wisdom to set aside World Health Day as “World Quality Health Service for Sierra Leone to roll-out, with a view to ensuring the Health Ministry serve every district, chiefdom and township in the country.
Assisting people in their recovery and rehabilitation, President Bio, according to the Health Ministe, has supported the Ministry of Health Financially with an increase Expenditure from 7.5 to 10.6 percent of its annual budget, all geared towards improving the health sector in the country.
The action-development oriented dynamic Health Minister; Prof. Wurie has also disclosed plans to put out tender with support from partners to buy Cost Recovery drugs catering for vulnerable people who are not beneficiaries of the Free Health Care to purchase their drugs at an affordable cost.
For efficient and effective service delivery and accountability, salaries of health workers have also been increased with three allowances which include on call, location and Bio-hazard allowances.
The visit of President Julius Maada Bio to the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and the return visit from top government officials from UAE to Sierra Leone have attracted a request for the purchase of life-saving drugs for three main referral hospitals: Connaught, Princess Christian Maternity (PCMH) and Ola During Children’s Hospitals to be made available in-country in three months’ time.
Clinical leadership in primary health care settings can be distinguished from institutional settings, and in achieving the desired goal the leadership of the Ministry, Prof. Wurie, His Excellency President Bio, Directors, Programme Managers, District Medical Officers and District Health Sisters have set to move on with the New Direction Agenda to make Sierra Leone health care system a center of Excellence.