ACC engages Lungi, Kambia government hospitals on corruption

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In its drive to address corruption issues in the health sector, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) North West Regional Office has engaged management and staff of Lungi and Kambia Government Hospitals on various corruption issues.

The customized meetings held on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th August 2023 were part of ACC’s prevention drive aimed at addressing and identifying corruption risks and vulnerabilities in the health sector and its effects on the country’s growth and wellbeing of the people.

Speaking at the respective meetings, the Regional Manager Fatu Florence Kamara said corruption in the health sector adversely impact the quality of service delivery as well as compromise the ability of the state to provide healthcare to citizens. Explaining the importance of a service charter, Manager Kamara informed all that as part of the commission’s approach to addressing numerous concerns from the public, the ACC will focus on corruption prevention which includes among other things the urgency for the development and review of the citizen’s service charter for both hospitals and to enhancing transparency and accountability of services rendered by both facilities. She pointed out that these preventive actions will address unofficial payments, soliciting of bribes, mitigate corruption loopholes and will significantly enhance access to services.

The Regional Head called on both hospital management to put in place internal controls and a robust monitoring and supervision mechanisms and implement sanctions to mitigate the malfeasance.

Speaking on corruption issues in the health sector, Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah gave an overview of the offences in the Anti-Corruption Act as amended in 2019, including  but not limited to misappropriation of public funds and property, protection of public revenue, abuse of office and position and Offering, soliciting and accepting advantage among others. He informed them that ACC has been working with the Ministry of Health on examining practices and procedures relating to Medical stores, the National Emergency Medical Services, HIV/AIDS, IHPAU, NMSA, Sierra Leone Health Service Commission, Nurses Board and will continue to work with the ministry in other areas of importance. He pointed out that complaints and intelligence gathered indicate a lack of accountability mechanism and absence of a request based system from the Wards to the In-Charges, and the use of discretion in the laboratory systems among other things.

On the part of the heads of institutions, they thanked the ACC for the timely intervention on the said matter and registered their commitment to working with the commission to providing better service to he public. Representing the Medical Superintendent in Lungi, Dr Isaac Gibril Sesay described the engagement as timely and stated management’s position in terms of supporting the fight against corruption adding, that management had been communicating similar messages to staff. The District Medical Officer in Kambia Dr John Yillia expressed similar sentiments and emphasized the importance of maintaining accountability measures in the overall operations of the hospital.

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