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Sierra Leone News: Promoting Healthy community…Ward 408 given green light to construct PHU

Councilor Turay explaining to the DMO about the Community

With over eight thousand residents within the Rokupa Wharf Community in Constituency 116, Ward 408, Western Area, the District Medical Officer, Dr Osaio Kamara, has given the green light to the community people to construct a Peripheral Health Unit (PHU). This came after series of engagements conducted by SEND Sierra Leone with the community people for them to know about the rights and responsibilities within their community. Residents within the Rokupa Wharf Community have been deprived of basic social amenities over the years as pregnant/lactating women and the sick will have to fight their ways through narrow passage to access medical attention at the Rokupa Government hospital, that is very far away from them. According to Councilor Sheku A. G. Turay, Ward 408, Rokupa Wharf Community is one of the most deprived in his Ward and the Constituency as a whole with no safe drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene among others. He disclosed access to health facility has been the greatest challenge for his people as he had made several engagements with stakeholders for the construction of a PHU but to no avail until now that they have been given approval to go ahead on their own initiative. “This is a community led initiative that will be funded with our own little contribution and donations from well wishers,” he said, disclosing that their aim is to save the lives of pregnant women and their unborn children and also provide access to health facility for everyone in the community. Councilor Turay said in most cases Pregnant women due to the distance and lack of resources visit the Traditional Birth Attendance (TBA) instead of going to the hospital for better medication which in most cases lead to fatal result. “One life lost is a precious gem to the country, so we need to protect our people and provide basic needs within our communities,” he said. The Councilor maintained that someone had already constructed bricks for the project while some other people including a former Parliamentary Aspirant Mariama Bangura donated 30 bags of cement. “I have also donated 20 bags of cements, 2 trip of stones as a start, while the community people including the Chief provided the land and the youth have vowed to provide labor” he said, calling on the government and other humanitarians to come to their aid in completing the PHU within the shortest possible time. According to the District Medical Officer, Dr Osaio Kamara, the initiative of the people is a welcome news by willingly giving a piece of land for the project, admitting that the people should have a PHU considering the number of residents within the community. He however invited the Councilor to go and collect the plan for the structure as the Ministry have a laid down plan for all PHUs, assuring that the District Health Management Team (DHMT) will provide the necessary equipment, medicine and personnel after completing the construction. Chief Pa Alimamy Kamara, expressed thanks and appreciation to the DMO for allowing them to construct a PHU which has been their long time dream, disclosing their community is deprived of basic facilities which should be addressed by the relevant authorities. He however assured that they will complete the construction within the shortest possible time for their people to start benefit from it and stop covering long distance to access better medical facility. Chief Kamara expressed appreciation to SEND Sierra Leone for creating the platform for them to know about their rights and responsibilities and also have the opportunity reach the DMO who have given them assurance.

By Alhaji Manika Kamara

Thursday May 16, 2019.

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