COMMENTARY: How Sierra Leone’s health sector stands to benefit from the $100,000 donation by Nigeria’s First Lady.

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By Ishmael Dumbuya

The donation by the First Lady of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, towards Sierra Leone’s health sector is a very significant move and helps in diverse ways to bolster healthcare delivery for Nigerians in Sierra Leone.

The donation, according to a press statement by the organization, is a fulfillment of her pledge toward the construction of a first-class medical center for Nigerians in Sierra Leone and the establishment of a state-of the- art medical center in Sierra Leone.

The donation has tremendous positive contributions to the already ailing healthcare facility in the country and plays a crucial role to significantly impact the realization of the NIDO Medical Centre, as well as address the urgent healthcare requirements of more than 40,000 Nigerians living in Sierra Leone.

Once completed, the NIDO Medical Centre is expected to become a vital healthcare institution, catering to the health and wellness of the Nigerian community. The initiative reflects Senator Tinubu’s dedication to supporting healthcare and aligning with the broader goal of strengthening healthcare systems in Africa.

This is a very big boost to alleviate the challenges being faced by Nigerians in Sierra Leone, especially in the health delivery sector of the country. Recall that Sierra Leone is still grappling with the consequences of the 11-year brutal civil war that destroyed all national social infrastructures. Just as the government is struggling to reinstate the health and educational infrastructure, it recorded a big setback with the outbreak of the Ebola virus which ravaged the country from 2014 to early 2016 and killed over 4,000 people in the country. This was further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020 to 2022.

The underscores her commitment to the well-being of Nigerians abroad, and exemplifies the power of diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in fostering stronger ties between nations. The donation serves as a hope for improved healthcare access in Sierra Leone and sets a commendable precedent for international cooperation.

Also, the impact of the donation is expected to complement the ongoing efforts by President Bio within the health sector in Sierra Leone, as well as exemplifies the importance of cross-border cooperation to address healthcare challenges in the region.

Support for the government and people in Sierra Leone in rebuilding the health sector is therefore a matter of very imperative concern. Some of these efforts are seen in the establishment of various private hospitals like Choithram Hospital (owned and managed by the Indians), Life Care Hospital (owned and managed by the Arabs), and The Chinese Hospital (owned and managed by the Chinese). As expected, these medical establishments naturally give priority to their nationals in the country while at the same time being open to the general public without any particular bias.

Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, NIDO SL, was formed pursuant to a directive by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission NIDCOM in Abuja, headed by Hon Abike Dabiri. Hon. Dabiri-Erewa played a pivotal role in her characteristic professional way. Right from Abuja, she coordinated the meeting which proved to be the platform for Her Excellency, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu to meet with and inform the Nigerians in Sierra Leone of the great efforts being undertaken by her husband, His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to revamp the Nigerian ailing economy.

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