‘43% of health workforce are volunteers’


 -says Health Alert boss 

December 5, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Executive Director of Health Alert has disclosed that 43% of the country’s health workforce is made up of volunteers even though they are trained and qualified.

Victor Lansana Koroma was speaking at Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown over the weekend during a national health debate forum organised by his organisation with support from Save the Children International.

The forum brought together political party leaders to share issues in their manifestos relating to strengthening and promoting quality healthcare delivery system in the country.

The essence of the debate was for political parties, especially the major players, to commit themselves to ensuring quality healthcare delivery through primary healthcare for the achievement of the universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals on Health, says the organisers.

According to Mr. Koroma, health personnel manning various health centres in the communities are not taken care of but are still providing services to the people.

He stated that even though 80% of healthcare services are delivered at health centres and peripheral health units, they lack basic equipment and support for effective and efficient delivery.

“Out-of-pockets payments are a major barrier to accessing healthcare services in Sierra Leone. 61% of health expenditures in 2016 came from households pockets,” he said.

Head of Peace and Conflict Studies Department at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Memunatu Pratt, who chaired the forum, expressed her dismay at the absence of the two major political parties – the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) – to discuss health issues in the country.

“This is not the only forum that I have been to where political parties, especially the leading ones, have not been able to show up. We want political parties to take us very seriously,” she said.

She stressed the need for political parties to make a commitment of putting together a good health plan for the country, adding that political parties have a critical role to play to improve the country’s rating on the Human Development Index.

Advocacy Director at Save the Children International, Ramatu Jalloh said: “We want our children, women and mothers to stop dying. We are hoping to see improvement in primary health care.”