The Northern regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has warned staff and students of the Maternal and Child Health Aide Training School in Magburaka to desist from soliciting and offering bribes. The call was made during a sensitization meeting at the school’s compound on Tuesday 25th March.
Addressing staff and students of the school, Senior Public Education Officer, ACC, Al-Hassan Sesay, highlighted key corrupt practices taking place in nurses training schools which, he noted, are obstacles to effective health service delivery in Sierra Leone. He told his audience that the ACC is not witch-hunting the health sector but making positive interventions to curb the menace in the society.
Mr. Sesay reminded the student nurses of their primary duty of saving lives, and how corrupt practices can hamper the realization of that goal. He entreated them to see the fight against corruption as a collective responsibility which should not just be left in the hands of the Commission alone.
In his statement, Regional Manager North, ACC, Patrick Sandi, referred to the nursing profession as a notable career which would only benefit Sierra Leone if it is free from corruption. He maintained that one of the things that hinders the effective health service delivery system of the country is corruption, which is why the ACC is making interventions – through education and prevention – to enhance transparency and ensure the realization of the social needs of the people.
Mr. Sandi told the gathering that the ACC should not be seen as a threat to anybody or institution, as their job is to enhance transparency and accountability in systems. He called on staff and students of the school to change their negative mindset towards the fight against corruption.
Sandi urged them to inculcate the values of transparency and accountability in public life, stressing: “Sierra Leone will only develop if all of us are determined to fight corruption. We all should be nationalistic and patriotic.”
He explained the numerous strides being made by the ACC in the fight against graft through public education, prevention and confrontation approaches.
The ACC District Coordinator, Tonkolili, Abdulai Saccoh, explained the various methods of reporting corruption cases to the Commission and protection for informants. He stressed on the Commission’s core values of confidentiality and explained the benefits of making a report to the ACC and the 10% reward to informers.
He however warned against making false reports which, he said, constitutes one of the offences in the Anti-Corruption Act.
In her statement, the District Health Sister, Kadie Bureh-Soloku, appreciated the efforts of the ACC in sensitizing them, stating that the Commission was at their institution to educate them so that they could guard themselves against graft.
She assured the ACC of their support and promised, on behalf of staff and students of the school, to abide by the Commission’s warnings.
Questions, suggestions and comments from students formed the highpoint of the engagement.