From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, UNICEF Empowers Health for all Coalition Monitors
By Mohamed Kabba
Aug 30, 2010, 17:26

As part of their efforts to effectively monitor the ongoing Free Health Care initiative, Health for all Coalition has over the weekend distributed 53 Bicycles to all their monitors in 53 chiefdoms in the Northern Province. The distribution ceremony which took place at the coalitionís regional office in the city of Makeni drew various stakeholders including representatives of the civil society, local council and the media.

In his statement, the director of the coalition, Mr. Charles Mambu gave a brief background of the composition of the coalition which he said has over 150 membership strength working with government to support the free health care service by ensuring that the process was sustainable. He disclosed that the items were donated by the Free Health Initiativeís biggest partner, UNICEF to enable monitors effectively carry out their national assignment through sensitization of local communities on the need to visit health centres for free treatment of under fives, lactating and¬† pregnant women. He pleaded with the monitors to use the bicycles for their intended purposes. The director admonished that as volunteers they must ensure that they refrained from criminal activities as there were people that monitor them as well.

In her short remarks, Councilor Haja Sentho Conteh thanked Charles Mambu for demonstrating transparency and accountability not only to his monitors but to all stakeholders for which she said government and UNICEF relied on his organization. She advised the monitors to ensure that they worked for the good image of the coalition and the country by saying no to corruption.

UNICEFís Health Officer, Foday Kamara said the agency was now a household name in the country that have been closely working with governments over the years to promote and ensure good health, education and other social welfare services.¬† He underscored the important role the coalition was plating in the implementation of the Free Health Policy, especially in monitoring the way and manner the drugs were being distributed.¬†¬† This is the reason why UNICEF has decided to provide bicycles for the coalition members to monitor at chiefdom levels to ensure the services reached the intended beneficiaries.

The distribution of bicycles to the districts coordinators and the signing of the terms of reference for the use of the items climaxed the ceremony.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.