He added that one of the five trucks is for the Magburaka Government Hospital, one for Masanga Hospital and the three trucks is for the District Health Management Team (DHMT) for distribution to the Peripheral Health Units (PHUs).
The Resident Minister called on the people of Tonkolili district not to allow stealing of the drugs by acting as watch dogs noting that they are the beneficiaries.
He informed his audience that the Ministry of Health is about recruiting 1,000 health workers between October and November of which 500 will be State Enrolled Community Health Nurses, 150 State Registered Nurses, 200 Community Health Officers and 150 Community Health Workers, disclosing that next year 2019, the Ministry will recruit 2,000 health workers across the country.
UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Makeni, Mr. Abdulai Jalloh stated that UNICEF and its donors have been collaborating with the government to support the roll-out of the Free Health Care Initiative nationwide, and that they have been working with the National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit (NPPU) and the Central Medical Stores for the procurement, transportation and delivery of drugs from the suppliers to the districts.
Mr. Jalloh reiterated that the distribution exercise will enhance community ownership and strengthen accountability for the programme. He admonished stakeholders to be vigilant in protecting the free health care drugs to ensure that they reach beneficiaries.
Chairman Tonkolili District Council, Madam Yabom Taslim Sesay described the distribution exercise as a great day for the people of Tonkolili district as the Health Ministry has invited stakeholders to witness the handing over of the free health care drugs.
She applauded the system of the distribution exercise for ensuring that they take ownership of the drugs until it reaches the last chiefdom or village.
The Chairman stated that the distribution exercise is not business as usual as the council want to move forward in reducing maternal mortality in the district, and assured all that the council will monitor the drugs effectively to ensure accountability and probity.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Clinical, Dr. Donald Bash-Tadi said since the introduction of the free health care initiative in 2010, drugs distribution to the districts were made in a quiet manner, adding that this time round the New Direction will improve on the distribution exercise so that the stakeholders will fully participate and monitor the process.
Paramount Chief Masakama Kanamanka II of Kolifa Rowalla and Paramount Chief Alimamy Koroma III of Dansogoia chiefdoms commended the government and Ministry of Health for the initiative and their inclusion, and pledged their support to monitor the drugs to ensure that it did not fall in the wrong hands.