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Parliament urges Dr. Demby to be professional and save the nation

February 10, 2021

By Jariatu S. Jusu

Dr. Austin Demby

Members of Parliament yesterday urged the new Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby, to be a professional and save the country from poor health status.

Main opposition Whip, Hon. Hassan Sesay, said despite the fact that Dr. Demby had been a patriot during the Ebola and the Covid-19.but should note that the nominee should be psychologically prepared to face the differences, particularly when someone wants results immediately whereas there will be others that might want to demonstrate their attitude.

“The attitudes here are different from those in America; we do hope he will be psychologically ready to work with health officials. There is a system in the country he used to work all his life, but we hope he will overcome the challenges,” he said.

Leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC), Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella,said Sierra Leone as a  nation with very poor health facilityprofessionals need to tap into the expertise  of those that are from abroad.

He said Dr. Demby has been excellent in his professional career and described him as a good choice, but prayed that he won’t be compromised since culture of corruption is hard to defeat.

“Don’t compromise professionalism, the moment they force you resign and go back because they don’t need discipline,” he said. 

He noted that the country being one of the poorest in the world, is about to benefit from a world renowned professional that have made mark internationally.

Hon. Yumkella said Dr. Demby trained the late Dr. Khan and others during the Ebola scourge and helped in the fight against the deadly disease.

“Also, out of the over 100,000 people trained by WHO, Dr. Demby was distinguished with alumni award, which was a good choice at the time when the world is facing a huge pandemic. I pray that the system does not ruin you, the culture of corruption will not infiltrate you, as  people burnt down the medical store to cover up investigation. I urge you not to compromise professionalism even if they want to force you to do so,” he said.

On his part, Speaker of Parliament,Hon.Abass Bundu stated  that  the new minister should fight back should they frustrate him.

Deputy Leader of Government Business, Hon. Bashiru Silikie, said the New Direction had promised to bring a change and the nominee now demonstrated the commitment.

He said in less than two years, the report card will be ready and that the health sector will be one of those that would be envied.

“You have a huge task in delivering the health sector. You know the errors in the sector and it is no secret that our health sector is much challenged. The pressure will be on you and the president, Parliament, the Committee and the public expect much from you. You are going to take the lead and education will not be achieved if the health sector is weak. You will be part of us now, unlike the help you rendered during the Ebola,” he said.

Also, Leader of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), Hon. Chernoh R. M Bah, said “now that he has accepted, we could use this to cajole good citizens to come and work. There are some who will respond but not have the courage like Dr. Demby to denounce his dual citizenship to come and serve the nation hence there is need to encourage them.”

He said the proposed minister will need a good team to work with in the health sector, adding that the more the country will have more people  with  such expertise, the better the country will be.

Hon. Matthew S. Nyuma said in order for the proposed minister to have the platform to deliver, he  will definitely need others to achieve.

He said  the nominee needs to build a good team around him and achieve the achievable, 

 “Be a professional and save this nation.”

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