From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, ‘Free Health Care has not attained purpose’- Director
By Momoja Lappia
May 27, 2010, 17:08

‘The Free Health Care Delivery Service launched barely a month ago has not attained its intended purpose.’ This was in the words of the director of Reproductive and Child Health Programme in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Samuel A.S Kargbo in a post launch press conference on Wednesday 26th May 2010 in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communication, Youyi Building in Freetown.

According to Dr. Kargbo in spite of appreciable success in reducing maternal and infant mortality country wide, the free health care initiative is facing insurmountable problems in its implementation. He said bottle necks like politicization, abject poverty, poor and inadequate infrastructure, bad attitudes and extensive bureaucracy were responsible for the failure of the project.

Dr. Kargbo disclosed that since the commencement of the free health care on Independence Anniversary, consignments of drugs meant for the beneficiaries were still being held at the Lungi International Airport and Queen Elizabeth II Quay in Freetown respectively for clearance fees. He said even though frantic efforts were being made through Vice President Sam-Sumana to prevail on NRA to release the containers, nothing good has come out of it.

However, many have referred to the director’s claims against the NRA as blatant lie given that under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) medical products, especially those relating to the Free Health Care project are given concession. "The director is refusing to tell Sierra Leoneans that APC operatives have cleared the medicines to themselves to sell them to the public," an experienced nurse expressed in a an opinion pool on the matter yesterday.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.