From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Deputy Health Minister Shines on ‘Agenda for Change’ TV Show
By Bampia Bundu
Sep 14, 2010, 17:14

As a way of assessing adherence and compliance with President Ernest Bai Koroma’s ‘Agenda for Change’ since its inception in 2007, Ministers of Government have for the past week been frequenting the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) in a television programme dubbed ‘Agenda for Change’ to explain to the public what their achievements and challenges are for the 36 months since the policy document started operation.

 

The ‘Agenda for Change’ as conceptualized by the APC Government aims at turning Sierra Leone around from its perceived decadent state to one of prosperity. Several Ministers have appeared on this programme to read their own report cards. Among the long list are: Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, Energy and Water Resources, Professor Ogundele Davidson, Works and Infrastructure, Alimamy P. Koroma, Marine and Fisheries, Joseph Koroma, Mines and Mineral Resources and Political Affairs, Alpha Kanu, Employment, Labor and Social Security, Minkalu Mansaray, amongst others.

 

From a snap overview of responses of members of the public on the performances of the Ministers who have presented their report cards so far, it appears as if the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Mohamed Dadis Koroma has had a thumb-up, when he appeared on Thursday, 9th September 2010. According to this reporter’s analysis, Mr. Koroma was practical and realistic with what listeners and viewers say was “his frank and truthful presentation”.


Outlining his achievements, Mohamed D. Koroma revealed that the APC, on assumption of office in 2007, there were less than 3000 nurses, doctors, surgeons, and other medical staff in the entire country, but that and through the dynamic support of the President and donor partners they have increased the number of medical staff from that paltry 3000 to 6000, adding that during the past years it was a vogue for nurses, doctors to leave government hospitals to work in private hospitals. But according to him, that has now changed as the Ministry is receiving piles of application letters every day from job seekers within the Ministry and its hospitals. “Our job is now attracting people because of our attractive pay package and conditions of service,” he stated.


Mr. Koroma continued by stating that they have instituted a programme to encourage medical officers to go on international trainings in Ghana and Nigeria to capacitate them to undertake their jobs professionally as required by international medical best practices. He however use the opportunity to announce that there are about 105 nurses and doctors who have so far benefited from such a programme with more to benefit from other overseas training. He however noted that the free medical health care delivery which was launched by the President on April 27th last year has been very successful as according to him, the programme has had huge impact on the lives of suckling mothers and under five children. Mr. Koroma continued to expatiate on the successes of the Ministry and as Deputy Minister what he intends to achieve in the coming years.


According to Madam Zainab Kamara a concerned citizen who watched the programme, the Deputy Minister “is just too fit for the job. Even though he is a journalist by profession, he has demonstrated ability to perform and he seem to be on top of situation under his watchful eyes. He seems to have learnt very on the job and because of his background; I think he should be considered for the substantive position as Minister of Health and Sanitation. We need people with vigilance and result-oriented focus as political Head in that Ministry,” Madam Kamara pointed out.



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