President Bio opens new King Harman Maternity and Children Hospital in Freetown

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 October 2019:

President Julius Maada Bio, yesterday opened the new King Harman Maternity and Children Hospital at Brookfields, which will largely cater for residents in the west of Freetown to ease pressure on the Cottage Hospital at Fourahbay Road in the east of the capital.

The $1.6 million newly constructed hospital which replaced the King Harman Road Satellite Clinic that was demolished in April 2017, has been built with support from the Government of Sierra Leone, in partnership with the United Nations Food Programme (UNFPA) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID).

Country Representative for the UNFPA, Dr Kim Dickson, said she is honoured to witness the official commissioning of the hospital by president Bio in support of his commitment to transforming the health infrastructure and healthcare delivery systems in the country. She called on the hospital management to take good care of the facilities and ensure the effective delivery of healthcare.

British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Simon Mustard, spoke about the strong partnership between the Government of Sierra Leone and the UK, which he said is built on a shared history and deep connections. He said he is excited that the partnership has led to the commissioning of the hospital to protect and save the lives of mothers and their children.

Minister of Health and Sanitation, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie (Photo), said that the hospital will contribute to government’s efforts in creating a reliable and efficient health sector that is capable of providing quality healthcare for the people of Sierra Leone. He commended the President for the gains achieved so far in the health sector, saying that 2020 would see a turnaround in the sector.

In his keynote address, President Julius Maada Bio recalled that in his maiden address to the State Opening of the Fifth Parliament, he stated that the strategic objective of the health sector in the New Direction is to transform the under-resourced, ill-equipped, dysfunctional and inadequate healthcare infrastructure and delivery system, into a high quality, efficient, reliable, cost-effective, affordable and sustainable service.

“The thrust of this New Direction Government is increasing access to quality health services for all the population, particularly mothers, children and the elderly. Today marks another milestone in the delivery of my promise to the people of Sierra Leone. I feel so gratified to commission the King Harman Maternity and Children Hospital as a Centre of Excellence for the delivery of quality healthcare service.

“This Government has made significant contributions to improving our health sector. We have tackled head-on the grossly inadequate human resource in healthcare delivery, by increasing the present number of healthcare staff by 4,000. We have increased the national budget allocation on health from 8.9 to 11.6%,” he said.

President Bio also said that to address delays in accessing quality healthcare in health facilities, his government has commissioned and operationalised the National Emergency Medical Services in all districts in the country with over 4,000 referrals to date. He said he is committed to improving diagnostic capacity, adding that the government has allocated budget to establish the National Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.

The president stated that his government has made tremendous progress in creating an effective and efficient healthcare system that meets the needs of citizens and provides compassionate and high-quality care.

He noted that despite these efforts, there is much to be done to prevent people from dying from preventable and treatable diseases.

“The importance of investments in quality care and patient safety is portrayed by government’s commitment to improving the status of our hospitals across the country. We have invested in and will continue to invest in constructing and equipping new hospitals across the country. One of such is this King Harman Hospital, which provides secondary level care to the people of this community and its environs,” he said.

He also commended DfID for providing the support to construct and equip the hospital, as the old hospital had exceeded its capacity, and said that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation will provide the staff, along with the required training and coaching of staff that will improve maternal, new-born and child health to ensure the hospital fulfils its mandate.

Patrick Cole, General Manager of C.L. Group Limited which designed the hospital architecture said the facility is a three-floors, 100 bed facility with wards, operating theatre, mortuary, kitchen, laundry and a host of other support services.

The King Harman Road Government Hospital is a comprehensive obstetric care hospital that will deal with complicated births and pregnancies.  It will be supported for five years by DfID under the Saving Lives Programme, implemented by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the UNFPA.

The aim of the DfID Saving Lives Programme is to save the lives of women, girls and children by improving on the quality, availability, and accessibility of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) services. The programme will help the Government of Sierra Leone achieve the following targets:

• Reducing neonatal and child mortality by saving the lives of more than 22,000 children by 2021

• Reducing maternal mortality by saving the lives of more than 2,000 women who would otherwise die due to pregnancy and childbirth related causes by 2021

• Increase the use of quality RMNCAH services to reduce maternal and child mortality/morbidity and teenage pregnancies

• Increase the use of contraception especially among adolescent girls by enabling more than 134,000 women and girls to use family planning

• Reduce the prevalence and improve the management of childhood illnesses through the provision of free quality primary health care services

• Strengthen key health systems to underpin and sustain these health gains

6 Comments

  1. This shows complete transparency by the Bio administration as to how donor funds are properly spent. Replicate this with all funds earmarked for projects around the country and you will begin to see some improvement in peoples’ lives. This is also good news for the British tax payers. They will feel good that their donor fund was spent wisely and did not end up in some politicians’ foreign bank accounts as was the case with successive APC administrations.

    Instead of blind loyalty, as in the past administrations, people should hold their leaders accountable for their inaction to mitigate their endemic suffering. Please continue the good work for the people. God bless Sierra Leone.

  2. Every small contribution to make life easy in our country must be applauded. There is a lot of work ahead but this administration is slowly laying the foundation for future development. Keep it up as we hope to see the same improvement we hope to witness soon in the areas of agriculture, road infrastructure and electricity.

  3. Mr Maxwell Bakarr, can you give us a breakdown of how you came to this imaginary figure? Did you get this information from the final outcome of the Commission of Inquiry?

    • Mr. Alimamy Turay, News of APC’s grand kleptocracy in the tune of one billion dollars was carried by several newspapers, Africa News included. In Africa News of April 2, 2019, the article was captioned “Sierra Leone audit uncovers $1bn stolen between 2015 – 2018.”

      I find it strange that you would question the magnitude of APC looting of public funds in Sierra Leone. This brazen activity did not start with the integrity-challenged Ernest Bai Koroma. Siaka Stevens, the party’s godfather is argued to have stolen 500 million dollars by himself. And of course Joseph Saidu Momoh did continue with this kleptocratic tendency by also raiding the national coffers with reckless abandon.

      Let’s put it this way. Sierra Leone’s economic problems are political by nature. Bad governance as perpetrated by the APC over the years is at the heart of Sierra Leone’s underdevelopment. Thus, it is safe to state that had APC not spent a whopping 38 years in governance, with nothing to show for it, Sierra Leone could have been a middle income country.

  4. I’m delighted and happy to see the opening of the new King Harman Maternity and Children Hospital in Freetown. Maternal deaths during pregnancy and deaths of children under 5 years in Sierra Leone should be a thing of the past, but we need well trained dedicated staff such as Obstetricians and gynaecologists, Paediatricians and Nurses to run the hospital.

    In addition, the necessary laboratory and investigative procedures are a must. I hope money is not an impediment when help is needed by patients. Kerala in India produces results as good as the U.K. May I suggest getting their help for a few years. Heatfelt congratulations to all who have contributed to this magnificient project.

  5. Sierra Leone has the highest child mortality rate in the world. Thus, it is only good that any effort by the present government to alleviate the healthcare crisis in the country be commended.

    It is lamentable that APC operatives stole close to one billion dollars of tax payers’ money. Had this not happened, president Bio and his men could have had the funds to upgrade all health care facilities in Sierra Leone.

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.