Alfred Fornah: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 November 2018:
Residents of Kailahun have applauded the work of the Sierra Leone Diaspora Health Professionals, who arrived in the district a week ago to help save lives and improve the quality of life of people in the District.
This commendation came following a successful medical mission completed on Wednesday 14th November 2018 in Kailahun Government Hospital by five highly experienced Diaspora Medics from the United State of America, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The medical mission is part of a Project title ‘Engaging the Diaspora to Strengthen the HEALTH, flood prevention and Agriculture Sectors in Sierra Leone’.
The program is funded by the Japanese Government and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Office of Diaspora Affairs and the Ministry of Health among others.
The Diaspora Medical Mission saw over one hundred people in Kailahun district received free screening and treatments including surgeries for hernia, fibroid and patients suffering from other ailments. Beneficiaries were well treated and given proper medications.
“I am now feeling better after I have gone through a successful surgical operation. I wouldn’t have afforded to pay for it, but thanks be to God the diaspora doctors are here. This is the very first time we are benefiting from such a program in this part of the country,’’ Mamie Kamara, a beneficiary from Gbatorma Section in Kailahun said.
Kailahun Town Chief, Maada Alpha Ndoleh in an interview with this press, praised the diaspora medics, IOM and partners for delivering such a wonderful program to the people of Kailahun District.
“The diaspora health care project is really laudable and timely because a lot of our people who are merely poor farmers cannot afford to pay for their medication, and especially the surgeries. So it’s really good that the project is brought to our district. On behalf of the local authorities of Kailahun, I want to express sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who are involved in the implementation of this great project,” Chief Ndoleh said.
“This health initiative is good, and we appreciated it so much, but the time frame of the program is short. Our people are desperately in need of such free medical programs. I am appealing that the IOM and partners think about extending the time or conduct another medical mission in Kailahun so that a lot more of our people will be able to benefit from it,” the District Council Chairman, Sahr A.K Lamin appealed.
The Junior Doctors and Nurses also expressed gratitude for the transfer of skills and knowledge by the diaspora Medical Doctors.
“It was an incredible learning experience for some of us. The diaspora medical experts are indeed great teachers, we learnt a lot of new things from them and hope that this programme will continue,” a Senior House Officer from Connaught Government Hospital, Roland Kallon said.
The Director of Diaspora Affairs, Dr Kallay Musa Conteh and IOM- Sierra Leone Chief of Mission, Alhaji Sanussi Savage hoped for continued collaboration to extend the diaspora healthcare program in other parts of the country, especially hard to reach areas where access to medical care is still a challenge.
The Diaspora Health Professionals who participated in the Medical Mission also reiterated their commitment to continue to serve their home country, whenever they are called upon.
About the author
Alfred Fornah is the Communication Officer of the Office of Diaspora Affairs.