December 23, 2016 By Jonathan Abass Kamara
President Ernest Bai Koroma has lauded the Four-man Israeli team and government of Israel for their assistance in making available a functional Dialysis Unit in Sierra Leone.
The team headed by Dr. Baratte Yusef MASHAV from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during their arrival in less than two weeks made the Dialysis Unit functional and carried the first operation of 29- year old lady successfully.
The patient, recently at the Connaught hospital Intensive Care Unit as at press time, was said to be doing well.
Welcoming the Israeli team during a courtesy call on him, President Koroma at his Hill Station Presidential Lodge on December 20, 2016 described the Dialysis machine as a great contribution, adding that as a government they have been able to transform service delivery in the health sector.
“You have endured us as a nation and we are proud of you. Sustainability is now the focus, and as a government we would ensure the smooth running of the Dialysis Unit,” he said.
President Koroma maintained that even in the absence of the team, he would ensure a high level meeting towards making the unit a more viable life-saving institution.
Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on behalf of his people and government, thanked the team and the Israeli government for the support, adding that when confidence would be built on the people Sierra Leoneans abroad would make use of the facility, and commended the Israel team and their local counterpart for the first successful operation conducted on the 29 year old lady who was almost giving up hope of survival.
Responding, Team Leader, Dr. Baratte Yusef, said the efforts to establish the unit came as a result of the First Lady, Madam Sia Nyama Koroma’s strides when she visited Israel and remained committed since then to achieve what was seen that day as a Dialysis Unit.
He described the First Lady as the” Driving Force” between Sierra Leone and Israel and assured the President of their commitment to share their experience and skills with the Sierra Leone Medical team.
In a similar engagement with the First Lady at the Dialysis Unit at the Connaught Hospital and the Presidential Lodge, the First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma described the event as an emotional moment and lauded the Israeli for the generosity in providing the Dialysis machines, describing Dialysis as a sophisticated science.
She told her audience that her passion for Dialysis started in 1997 during the inter-regnum when a relative was dialysed between life and death and got associated with the machine and developed a passion.
The First Lady encouraged the Nephrologist and In-charge Dr. Soccoh Kabia and team to be committed and dedicated, and assured them of her husband’s support towards the sustainability of the unit.
Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister I, Madam Madina Rahman described the functionality of the Dialysis machine as a blessing after decades of dreams, and advocated for capacity building of staff of the unit.
She also expressed the need for effective collaboration with line ministries: Energy, Water Resources, Agriculture and Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, adding that the various units: Intensive Care, Laboratory, Nutrition among others was very vital for the effective and efficient running of the Dialysis Unit.
Madam Rahman reiterated the First Lady’s commitment and passion for the establishment of the unit, and underscored the need to name the unit after the First Lady “Sia Nyama Koroma Dialysis Unit”.
The Nephrologist and In-charge, Dr Soccoh Kabia, commended the First Lady for her relentless efforts in ensuring the establishment of the unit, maintaining that together with his team they would strive to give their best in ensuring effective and efficient service delivery to facilitate accessibility.
He reiterated the need for sustainability and greater inter-disciplinary collaboration with Surgeons, Dieticians, Social Workers, Medical Students Nephrologists and other key life- saving personnel.
Dr. Kabia also dilated on the need for adequate drugs and consumables and other logistics support.
Team Leader, Dr. Baratt Yusuf described the current situation of the machine as a new born baby that needed water for its growth and development. The real situation, he said was a process and reiterated the need for the establishment for a line of supplies, professional dialogue among partners, a small Laboratory and other important options.