December 9, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi from Port Loko
The deadly Ebola disease, which was halted over a year ago in Sierra Leone, strongly exposed the weaknesses of the country’s health sector, with limited infrastructure and resources to maintain the numerous health challenges.
With limited knowledge in the management of Ebola disease, a good number of people including health practitioners lost their lives, thus compounding the problem.
The disease affected the economy, education and the healthcare systems, leaving millions struggling in the face of food insecurity and death to preventable, treatable health issues such as malaria, diarrhea, and childbirth among others.
The government then called on all development partners including international Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) to support the fight against Ebola.
Christian Aid, an (INGO) which has been very instrumental in empowering citizens to take the lead in development interventions in their localities and demanding quality service delivery from government and local leaders at all levels, joined in the fight by supporting their implementing partners in the fight against Ebola, supporting quarantined households, survivors and children affected by the disease.
The support includes food and non-food items, psychosocial support, awareness raising to break the chain of transmission and addressing the needs of children, including those orphaned by Ebola.
With the post Ebola Recovery process, Christian Aid in partnership with it implementing partner, Collective Initiative for Development Sierra Leone (CIFD-SL) based in the northern district town of Port Loko, has rehabilitated three community health posts in the Makabba, Mbonie and Mathen village respectively to improve on the high rate of maternal and mortality in that part of the country.
The Country Manager for Christian Aid Sierra Leone, Madam Jeanne Kamara, said they collaborated with one of the youngest organizations in the Port Loko district, so that the support could actually reach out to the vulnerable people, adding that her organization was very much concerned about the health of women and children.
She said the rehabilitation of the three health posts was a complement to the government Ebola recovery process, adding that their role as an (INGO) was to complement the efforts of government in improving on the standard of living of the people.
“Christian Aid has been in Sierra Leone for the past twenty years doing humanitarian work .During the Ebola outbreak; we were very much visible in working with our partners in the fight against the disease. This rehabilitation work on the three health posts will help members of these communities to be delivering safely within the appropriate environment. It is our hope that by handing over this facilities today to the District Health Management Team, and local authorities, pregnant women would now come out to utilise the facilities and also take a very good care of them. This is an opportunity you have to make use of because collectively, we want to ensure that the issue of maternal and morality deaths is drastically reduced in Sierra Leone,” she said and thanked members of CIFD-SL for effectively implementing the project for the benefit of their people.
The Chief Executive Officer CIFD-SL, Almamy I. Kargbo said they rehabilitated the community health centres, provided a sustainable sola electricity supply, water, and other facilities, adding that they have been closely working with the DHMT and other stakeholders including council officers for a successful implementation of the project.
Kargbo noted that in order to ensure proper monitoring of the said facilities, they have provided three motorbikes to the DHMT personnel so that they can monitor progress.
“We have provided four motorbikes, ten beds, twenty five chairs, fifteen tables, twenty benches and six cupboards for these facilities. We also provided wash materials, electricity among other things. We also trained our beneficiaries and traditional births attendances. CIFD-SL is six years old with young people who are always ready to work for a successful outcome of any project undertaken. We are very proud of this support because the district belongs to us and we are happy to work for our people” he said and called on other faith based organizations to support them in their work in the district.