Salone Will Rise Again -Health Minister Prof. Alpha T. Wurie

 

By Kadrie Koroma-MOHS

The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Prof Alpha Tejan Wurie has asserted that as a dynamic action-oriented patriot, the quest for a resilient health system for Sierra Leone is his focus and dream, given the status of a fragile health system as exposed during the Ebola outbreak in May, 2014.

 

As Sierra Leone joined other countries the world over in the commemoration of World Health Day on the theme: “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere and Health for all,” Prof Alpha Tejan Wurie at the Public Health National Operations Centre at Cockerel in Freetown was optimistic that “Sierra Leone will rise again in the health sector with a health system with strong primary healthcare that delivers better health outcomes, cost efficient and improves quality of care of its people.”

Prof. Wurie, according to officials in the Health and Sanitation Ministry, believes in team work and leaves no one behind on the lessons learnt during the Ebola outbreak in rebuilding the country’s health systems. He is aware of the health systems’ research in fragile and conflict affected states as the country`s worst health indicators. He has consequently been able to collect higher quality catalogued with a nationwide distribution of Free Healthcare life-saving drugs and infrastructure and human resource development of rebuilding resilient health system for Sierra Leone.

“Strong and resilient health systems are critical to population health interventions,” Prof. Wurie noted. Building a strong health system in a fragile state is Prof. Wurie`s current challenge and thus poised to improve on the quality of healthcare for all and to bring services closer to the people.

The extension of healthcare to everyone has been an objective of national health system for many and the strategic approach by His Excellency the President, Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio, who in his wisdom set aside the World Health Day as “World Quality Health Service for Sierra Leone to roll-out with a view to ensuring the Health Ministry serve every district, chiefdom and township in the country.

Assisting people in their recovery and rehabilitation, President Bio, according to the Health Minister, has supported the Ministry of Health financially with an increased expenditure from 7.5 to 10.6 percent of its annual budget, all geared towards improving the health sector in the country.

The development-oriented Health Minister, Prof. Wurie has also disclosed plans to put out a tender with support from partners to buy Cost Recovery drugs catering for vulnerable people who are not beneficiaries of the Free Healthcare to purchase their drugs at an affordable cost.

For efficient, effective service delivery and accountability, salaries of health workers have also been increased with three allowances that include call, location and Bio-hazard allowances. The visit of President Julius Maada Bio to the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and the return visit from top government officials from UAE to Sierra Leone have attracted a request for the purchase of life-saving drugs for three main referral hospitals – Connaught Hospital, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) and Ola During Children’s Hospital to be made available in country in three months’ time.

Clinical leadership in primary healthcare settings can be distinguished from institutional settings, and in achieving the desired goal, Prof. Wurie, President Bio, Directors, Programme Managers, District Medical Officers and District Health Sisters are set to move on with the ‘New Direction’ Agenda to make the country’s healthcare system a center of excellence.