Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 January 2021:
Last Friday, President Dr Julius Maada Bio turned the sod for the construction of an ultra-modern general hospital at Kerry Town, Western Rural District in Freetown.
Speaking at the event, President Bio said: “I am informed that per the MOU, EASI Trading Limited will build a 150-bed general Hospital that will provide such diagnostic imaging services such as Endoscopy, X-Ray, MRI and CT Scan. This project will also construct 40 flats for Doctors, 50 rooms for Nurses, a training facility for medical, nursing and other allied health professionals, and a 36-room building for people accompanying patients. At the same time, the project will create a minimum of 200 local jobs in the Kerry Town area.”
President Bio also emphasised that his government is following through on its New Direction Manifesto promise and the Medium-Term National Development Plan to increase affordable access to quality healthcare service.
He said that this goal is also aligned with his government’s human capital development priorities – access to quality healthcare, and the Sustainable Development Goal 3 on delivering good health and well-being to Sierra Leoneans.
President Bio said his government has been able to continue delivering general healthcare despite the COVID-19 pandemic, because of their well-considered and scalable investments in the healthcare system over the last two years.
He noted that his government has commissioned 380 beds in four new hospitals in Kailahun, Hangha, Rokupa, and at the King Harman Road hospital in Freetown, adding that they have also commenced the construction of 360 beds hospitals in Jojoima in the Kailahun district, Lower Banta and Upper Banta Chiefdoms in Moyamba district, and 100 additional beds at the 34 Military Hospital in Freetown.
“We have recruited and trained nearly 6,000 additional healthcare workers, improved their conditions of service, and provided diagnostic laboratories in all district hospitals. The 2019 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) shows better health outcomes for Sierra Leoneans with a 39% reduction in maternal mortality and a 19% reduction in infant mortality. We may not be where we want to be, but we are determined to continue to give our best,” he assured.
Team Lead, Health and Education UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Penny Walker-Robertson, commended the government’s leadership for making this a priority.
“We believe we will see much more progress in the coming years. The opening of this health village is an opportunity to reflect some reforms and how this centre can contribute to the overall ambition for universal health coverage. We stand ready to partner with you,” she assured.
Minister of Health and Sanitation, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, said what people saw with the health village was the tip of the iceberg within the health sector, adding that the President had gone to tell the people about the provision of tertiary service.
“You have been informed about the 150-bed hospital that will have 40 flats for doctors, 50 rooms for some of the nurses at work and will also have a hostel facility for those that accompany the sick.
“So, let us look at the services that we are going to get from this. Today, we send people out for paediatric service but more importantly for oncology service and also for cardiovascular service. We do hope that this facility will now have a reversal, in the sense that rather than Sierra Leoneans go out to access services, people will come into this country to access services,” he said.