Kuwait Fund Gives US$15m to the Health Ministry in Sierra Leone
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Haja Hawa Zainab Bangura has disclosed that her ministry has received $15 million United States dollars from the Kuwait Fund which will be used to upgrade the Ola During Children’s Hospital. She said the money will also be used to commence post-graduate training, build oxygen and fluid factories and also revealed that by next year 13 doctors will be sent to further their studies abroad.
She was addressing the press at the Information and Communications Ministry yesterday Thursday November 17, 2011 where she maintained that by next year, they will be building 49 health facilities. “Three hundred and fifthy (350) State Enrolled Community Health Nurses, three hundred (300) State Registered Nurses will be employed and three hundred (300) doctors are expected to graduate from COMAHS. They will be given full residential and horsemanship training to fully prepare them to meet the challenges in the health sector,” Minister Bangura revealed.
She stated that there are presently 21 hospitals nationwide, in which 18 provide Free Health Care facilities, and that they also intend to have at least 8 doctors in every district hospital. She said out of the 40 Gynaecologists needed only one is available in Sierra Leone. She also affirmed that the distribution of the Free Health Care drugs is one of their major problems in terms of accessibility.
The Minister also revealed that they will continue the distribution of the Free Health Care Drugs nationwide today. She said the Free Health Care policy was introduced by President Ernest Bai Koroma for children under 5 and lactating mothers so as to meet the MDG’s 4&5. She said they have 140 containers of drugs worth US$11m in stores, and 52 of the 140 containers will be distributed nationwide and the exercise is expected to end on the 15th December, 2011.
“To achieve an effective delivery process we have put strategies in place so that no discrepancy will be reported in the delivery process and that 6% loss was reported during the initial delivery process. Initially the problems we had include infrastructure, human resources and combined criminal acts, but all these have been sorted out and this will enable the drugs reach the real beneficiaries,” Minister Bangura stressed with optimism.