November 23, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
Nurse in charge of the Maternal and Child Health Post (MCHP) at John Thorpe, Rokel village in the Western Area Rural District, Hajaratu Tarawally, has told Concord Times that they have only one delivery bed, which she said cannot accommodate more than one pregnant women during labour, and that they were also finding it difficult to do deliveries at night due to the lack of electricity supply.
“The solar panel that was given to us is gradually getting out of order because it can only now power one bulb that is placed in the drug store. We buy Chinese-made lights to work at night which is very strenuous. We are planning to lead a delegation to Falcon Bridge or to the Ministry of Energy to help us in that direction,” she said.
She made the above disclosure on Monday at John Thorpe community in Rokel, while explaining to this reporter about some of the challenges they were going through in the discharge of their responsibilities.
John Thorpe is a slum community and most of its inhabitants are fishermen, fish mongers and ‘illegal sand miners’. The community is over populated with a worry that it usually easily gets flooded whenever it rains.
According to Nurse Tarawally, most times, they put to bed more than two pregnant women per night and that there was no privacy due to the lack of enough delivery beds.
“We have a mandate to observe a pregnant woman for at least three hours after delivery but because we sometimes have more than two of them in labour, we sometimes struggle to discharge that mandate. If there were enough delivery beds, we would have created space for observation ward after deliveries,” she said.
She noted that the roofing of the centre was not in proper shape as water flows through whenever it rains.
She disclosed that their catchment population has grown to an extent that people from Koya Chiefdom in the Port Loko district travel via the sea to get health care services at the centre.
The MCHP in-charge disclosed that there was no space to provide health talk -the dos and don’ts of pregnant women and lactating mothers, the need to exclusively breastfeed babies, the benefits of vaccinating them, among others.
She noted that the rate of teenage pregnancy was too high in the community, even though they have been embarking on sensitization drive.
However, Nurse Tarawally said they have been getting essential free health care drugs on time, adding that sometimes, they also get enough supply of food for malnourished children.