Nigerian medicos give facelift to Sierra Leone medical sector


January 23, 2019

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Nigeria High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Dr Habbis Ugbada,poses with the five young doctors

Nigerian medical doctors have over the years, through the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps (TAC), worked in various communities across the country and have helped saved the lives of many Sierra Leoneans.

Sierra Leone is one of the African countries that has  over the years benefited from the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps (TAC) which was established in 1987, to provide manpower assistance to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, as their commitment to rapid and sustainable socio economic development.

The aim and objectives of TAC is to share Nigeria’s knowledge and expertise with other African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, providing assistance on the basis of assessed and perceived needs of the recipient countries, and promoting cooperation and understanding between Nigerian and beneficiary countries.

TAC is currently  operating in Fiji, Jamaica, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominican, The Gambia, Sierra-Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Brazzaville, Sao Tome &Principe, Zambia, Mozambique, Liberia, Guyana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Seychelles, Shelter Afrique (Kenya), Namibia, Djibouti, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Benin Republic, Niger Republic, Republic of Lesotho, Swaziland, central African Republic, Burkina Faso and Senegal.

In September 10th, 2009, Nigeria signed bilateral agreement with the government of Sierra Leone for the second phase of the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) programme, spanning over an eight-year period.

Since then, Nigeria has sent more than 500 medical volunteers to Sierra Leone and has contributed immensely to the development of the country’s health systems in terms of manpower.

Last week Thursday, 17th January, 2019, a batch of Five Nigerian medical doctors, who just completed their two years TAC services bade farewell to the Nigerian High Commission and the people of Sierra Leone.

Dr. Fasomoyin Oluwaseyi  was one of the volunteers who left the shores of Sierra Leone for Nigeria, last week.

He told Concord Times that being in Sierra Leone on such assignment was an exciting moment for him, and that he was always opened to come back  as long as the bi-lateral relationship between the two-sister countries continues in good faith.

He promised that he would report to the Minister of Health on his arrival in Nigeria and present his certificate, thus noting that it was difficult for him to leave his area of deployment as he had got accustomed to the community and the people.

He registered the federal government’s commitment to continue supporting Sierra Leone with any assistance it may need in the future.

Dr. Iminabo Harrison, who was deployed at the UBC Mattru-Jong Government Hospital, Bonthe District, Southern Sierra Leone, said during his stay at the hospital, he was faced with several challenges including, electricity, transportation and other environmental issues, but that he was able to overcome the challenges.

He said the hospital has eighty-eight (88) beds, but that they were admitting over seven hundred and fifty (750) sick people with different diseases.

Physician Specialist, Dr. Atilola Adeleke, who was attached to the Kailahun Government Hospital, eastern Sierra Leone, and later at the Connaught Hospital, said his duty was to decorate, prevent and rehabilitate the hospitals.

He disclosed that when he was later transferred to the Connaught Hospital, he taught many medical students that were on internship.

While responding to interview by the Nigeria News Agency, April 2018),High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Dr Habbis Ugbada, said the Federal Government had deployed more than 500 Technical Aid Corps volunteers in Sierra Leone.

Dr.Ugbada added that the mission was currently working on resuscitating the joint commission agreement on trade and investment between both countries, and that they  were working to bringing  in more volunteers including teachers, lawyers and engineers for human capacity building.