The Minister told the jam parked hall that the distribution will include three trucks for the Makeni Government hospital, one truck for the Kamakwie hospital in Karene, and six trucks for the District Health Management Team (DHMT) for onward distribution to the Peripheral Health Units (PHUs). He added that the beneficiaries for the free health care drugs are pregnant women, lactating mother, children under-five, disadvantage people and Ebola Survivors.
He said since the introduction of the free health care initiative in 2010 up to 2017, the government of Sierra Leone has never contributed funds for the procurement of drugs and commodities towards the free health care initiative, but was only procured by the UK government through DFID.
Dr. Wurie said the New Direction will ensure that as a way of supporting the procurement of the free health care drugs, government will contribute 10 percent this year (2018), 30 percent in 2019 and 50 percent in 2020 as a way to own what they are giving to their people.
He informed his audience that as a Ministry, the school health programme will start September 2019, adding that next year they will open pharmacies chiefdom by chiefdom to sell cost recovery drugs to ensure that proper cost recovery drugs are available in the chiefdoms and people buy them on a cost recovery basis.
The Minister revealed that the National Ambulance Services will commenced in October this year and that any two chiefdoms will get one ambulance to ensure the sick is taken to the health facilities, adding that the Ministry will provide one special utility vehicle to every district for doctor to do monitoring and supervision in the chiefdom.
DFID Deputy Head of Office, Angela Spilsbury said UK has been investing in a range of sectors in the country in support of its development and inclusive growth for many years.
She mentioned the support that the UK government has provided to the Sierra Leone’s health sector for many decades, adding that they are helping to increase access to quality health care services across the country in all districts, including Bombali district.
Angela Spilsbury stated that they have supported the construction of a new born care centre at Makeni Government Hospital, stating that they are helping to train health care workers, improve access to family planning so that Sierra Leone can meet its international commitment, as well as working with the government on procurement of essential drugs and supply chain management.
She informed her audience that in 2016, the UK government committed 150 million Pounds for the health sector until 2021 under the Saving Lives programme, aims to save the lives of 2, 000 pregnant and lactating mothers and 22, 000 children in the country.
The DFID Deputy Head of Officer assured of DIFD’s continuous partnership with the government to support and complement their attempts to improve the health care for its people.
The Resident Minister, North, Abu Abu Koroma underscored the importance of the drug distribution exercise, which he said will help the beneficiaries gain access to the free and quality health care drugs.
He commended the Health Ministry and DFID for the support and assured them that the process will be monitored so that it will not disappear, but distributed in a coordinated manner.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Clinical, Dr. Donald Bash-Taqi said their key partner, DFID has been supporting the country since 2010 to date, noting that the distribution exercise of the free health care drugs is for the stakeholders to monitor them to ensure that it reaches the deserving people.
Handing over of the trucks loaded with free health care drugs by the Minister of Health formed high point of the ceremony.