Health Minister urges teamwork to build a sound health sector


January 21, 2015

Dr. Abu bakar Fofanah - Minister of Health and Sanitation
Dr. Abu bakar Fofanah – Minister of Health and Sanitation

As he continues his assessment tour of health facilities towards building a resilient health system for Sierra Leone ahead of the post-Ebola era, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, has reiterated his commitment to restore the country’s health care delivery system to its past glory.

Addressing senior staff of the Connaught Hospital in Freetown yesterday (Tuesday January 20), Dr. Fofanah said his mission was to have firsthand knowledge of development in the hospital with a view to building on the challenges and constraints.

He observed that the discipline and respect for senior colleagues and among colleague professionals in the past have eroded, and expressed his desire to restore the lost glory with a view to transforming all health facilities to acceptable standard.

“I want to solicit your support because this is not achievable if your collaborative efforts and that of our health development partners are not instrumental in the process,” opined Dr. Fofanah. “One vision, one mission, one goal should be our focus in building a functional, sustainable and resilient health system in Sierra Leone.”

Commenting on his vision 2015, 2016 and 2016-2020, Dr. Fofanah enumerated plans for the transformation of all tertiary hospitals to university teaching hospitals, provide a conducive working environment for all cadre of staff, provide middle manpower human resource training, improve the Annex ward with fully air conditioned facility, plans for the establishment a Faculty of Dentistry and a Dental School in the near future, a National Blood Transfusion Service for post-Ebola, and the establishment of a Social Service Department in government hospitals, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo, reiterated government’s continued commitment to providing an accessible and affordable quality health care service for its citizens by providing an effective functional health care delivery system countrywide.

He told the meeting that the recent changes made in the ministry were necessary to filling the most urgent gaps in specialized areas; describing the decision as a move in the right direction to articulate positive action within the ministry’s post-Ebola plan.

Dr. Kargbo commended the hospital management for the new development in the Pharmaceutical and Mortuary departments among others, and the commitment seen by workers in the area of service delivery.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, David Wayland Sinford Banya, reassured his audience that with the combined political, administrative and professional approach by the minister in the governance structure of his vision and strategy, there is hope for posterity.

He encouraged the hospital management to work within the framework of the minister’s vision, and disclosed plans to inject a new system in the ministry’s budget planning ahead of the post-Ebola era.

Newly appointed Director of Hospitals and Laboratory Services, Dr. Victor Matt Lebbey, the Chief Nursing Officer, Matron Hossainatu Kanu and the Director of Human Resource for Health, Haja Mariatu Koroma dilated on issues surrounding human resource capacity building, challenges on logistics and equipment, need for teamwork and criteria for promotion within the Individual Performance Appraisal System, among other concerns raised.

The Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr. Thaim Buya Kamara, commended the minister and team for the visit, describing it as timely.

He said the hospital management is currently working on plans to upgrade its status, with work ongoing. He appealed for staff capacity in the various wards, units and departments in the hospital.

A conducted tour of the various units including the Eye Clinic, Dental Department, the Pharmacy and the Intensive Care Units formed the high point of the familiarization tour.