A civic advocacy group, Health for All Coalition-Sierra Leone (HFAC-SL) has raised grave concerns over the deteriorating health situation in Sierra Leone.
In a statement issued Friday October 10, 2008 to commemorate the World Mental Health Day, the Coalition says Sierra Leone is still sitting on a health time bomb.
"With approximately 5.5 million people, there is only one Psychiatric Doctor, Dr. Edward Nahim," a release from the group states, while drawing attention on the urgent need to recruit and train other psychiatric doctors to address the appalling situation.
"HFAC-SL views the one psychiatric doctor situation as a big neglect by the government as the importation, planting, cultivation and use of dangerous drugs in the country increases and its negative effect which leads to mental illness among the country’s youths," the Coalition noted, adding, "as we celebrate this year Mental Health Day, HFAC-SL expresses its profound thanks and appreciation to the country’s only psychiatric doctor, Dr. Edward Nahim for his selfless services to this nation’s forgotten sector, the Mental Health."
The Group also called on youths to refrain from all forms of drug abuse, adding that they should concentrate on the things that lead to their development.
"We want to also join other members of the society to thank some members of the Sierra Leone Police and Judiciary for their effort to arrest, prosecute and sentence drug abusers and traffickers," the release states, adding "we wish to thank the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for fast-tracking the passing into law the new Anti-Drugs Act 2008."
The release also noted that, "as Sierra Leone sits on a health time bomb, we urge the government of Sierra Leone to act now to support the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to train more Sierra Leoneans as Psychiatrists."
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.