From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

APC Government Tours Western Area's Tertiary Hospitals
By Abdul Karim Kabia & Bampia Bundu
Mar 30, 2010, 18:18

President Ernest Bai Koroma, on Monday 29th March 2010, led a high powered government delegation to visit the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) in the east end of Freetown, Connaught Hospital in the west of Freetown, and the Medical Stores at New England in Freetown, amid rousing cheers from doctors, nurses and Freetown residents.

The day-long tour started in the early hours of Monday at the PCMH, when President Ernest Koroma, in the company of his able Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister, Mohamed Daudis Koroma, and other government functionaries, materialised at the Hospital to inspect the facilities therein and to ensure that the compromise reached between the government and the striking health workers on Saturday, yielded dividend.

Ernest Koroma receives rousing welcome at Cottage Hospital

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer in the Health and Sanitation Ministry, Alhassan Sesay, told the Awareness Times that the inspection of the western area medical facilities is part of a nationwide tour initiated by the President to get a first hand idea of the facilities in the country’s hospitals, ahead of the launch of proposed free health care for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under the ages of five.

Deputy Minister Mohamed Daudis Koroma said the Government of Sierra Leone is expecting the arrival of five million British Pounds worth of drugs and medical equipment in the coming weeks to kick-start the free health care initiative of President Koroma, thus the visits. “The President is also visiting the medical store to ensure that the expected medical facilities have a save storage facility” Minister Koroma said, whilst pointing out that the health of women and children in the country are paramount in the President’s “Agenda for Change”.

Ernest Koroma, Mohamed Koroma and Samsumana tour Connaught Hospital

Public Relations Officer in the Health and Sanitation Ministry, Abass Kamara, told the Awareness Times that the Ministry has already received ten (10) ambulances and thirteen (13) vehicles, ahead of the launch.

At the PCMH, commonly known as Cottage Hospital, the President and his entourage were taken on a conducted tour of the hospital by Consultant Doctor Ibrahim Tholley.

Ernest Koroma at the Out-Patient Unit of the Connaught Hospital

The entourage was taken to the Out Patient Unit, Labour Unit, Theatre, Children’s Wards and Blood Bank Unit.

Responding to the questions posed by the President, Doctor Tholley mentioned the refusal of people to donate to the blood bank, lack of oxygen machine, lack of storage facilities and drugs as among the major challenges faced by the hospital.

Samsumanna at the Medical Stores at New England

From the Cottage Hospital, the President’s entourage drove to the Connaught Hospital and joined Vice President Sam Sumana who had arrived earlier at the Hospital.

The first two gentlemen of the state jointly toured the various wards and units of the hospital, including wards 5 and 7, Out Patient Unit, Dummy, Post Operating Ward, and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

After a conducted tour of the Connaught Hospital, President Koroma, Vice President Sam Sumana, Deputy Health Minister Mohamed Koroma, Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Security, Minkailu Mansaray and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Alhassan Sesay, among others, all headed for the Medical Stores at New England.

Doctors, nurses and other health workers happily welcomed the President and his entourage at the various hospitals.

The two weeks strike action instituted by the health workers, in protest against poor conditions of services, has been finally called off following successful negotiations between the health workers and the government.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.