The House of Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone has on Thursday 11 May 2017 ratified Private Member entitle: Community Health Practitioners Act 2017, being an Act to establish the community Health Practitioners Board for regulating all professional community health service providers in the performance of their duties and for other related matters.
Hon. Mohamed L. Mansaray in presenting the bill in the Well of Parliament said the willingness of Community Health Officers (CHOs) and Community Health Assistant (CHAs) to work in hard to reach areas and the services they render to their deprived communities underscore not only the important contributions of CHOs and CHAs are making within the health delivery system of this country but also towards our national economic development.
He admonished that the key aim of that presentation is to provide clear understanding on the community health care in Sierra Leone and the need to regularize the practice of community health practitioners.
He added that in Sierra Leone context, community health practitioners include; Community Health Officers (CHOs), Community Health Assistants (CHAs) and Community Health Workers (CHWs) in the public.
He said the CHWs are community volunteers supervised by CHOs to provide simple but cost effective healthcare services to their various communities.
He informed that the primary aim for establishing the School of Community Health and Clinical Science (formerly paramedical school) are to train polyvalent health workers that meet the requirement of PHC including all of facet.
He said accordingly, the training programmes for CHOs and CHAs were based on the fundamentals of primary health care and these includes; Maternal and child health, reproductive health and family planning, Nutrition, water and sanitation and many more.
In contributing to the debates, Hon. Dr. Abdulai D. Sesay said this bill is very important for all health practitioners across the country.
He added that since the school was established in 1986, there has been no legal regulatory body in order to protect them when performing their duties.
He said health workers are very important professional and they need to regulate them for good and enacting this bill will motivate the CHOs in their work and encourage other to join the profession. He said enacting this bill to law will bring new opportunities for the young people to study science.
Hon. Mohamed K. Tholley said CHOs has done very good job to save lives of citizens in this country during the civil war and Ebola War. He added that no need to continue explaining about their importance in this country. He said they are always at the forefront of any out brake in the country and most of them lost their lives in saving other lives.
He said this is the only way they can protect them in performing their duties and because of this, they need to be appreciated by regulating they through ratifying the bill and passed into law.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.