He said their visit was to know the priorities of the new government, know the cooperation they have and to see whether it is going in the good direction and which prospective they would have for the country.
The German Ambassador said they are keen in learning from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation what their policies are and to inform the German government accordingly.
The Senior Policy Officer, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Rene Franke commended the Ministry of Health for the team work and cooperation between the Ministry of Health and their implementing agencies, the GIZ and KFW.
He said the 2018 German budget reveals that $5 million will be going to the Sierra Leone health sector and will look at the 2019 budget when the Health Minister would have put proposals for support.
Mr. Rene Franke informed the Minister and team that an outstanding money which was not utilize should be used for other outstanding projects and should be used before the end of the year, adding that failing which they will lose the money.
Responding, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie thanked the German team for coming on what he described as explorative visit to have a general outlook and to see progress or initiatives that they would start from.
He informed the team that the Ministry of Health presently employs about 9, 700 workforce of which 10 percent are senior professional cadres including Specialist Nurses, Medical Doctors, Specialist Medical Doctors, adding that the bulk of the workforce are the Nursing Aides and the general type of nurses.
Dr. Wurie disclosed that the country is divided into 16 districts and the Western Area with about 200 chiefdoms, adding that the Ministry of Health has the mandate of providing quality health service to all. He added that the statement suggests that they should provide basic packages at least for all the chiefdoms, as well as some referral services from the secondary hospitals in each of the district.
The Minister stated that the Ministry supposed to provide treatment for existing diseases whilst they position their people for surveillance in case of any new epidemics, and aware of the devastating effect of the Ebola virus some three to four years age.
Dr. Wurie reiterated that the Director of Health Emergency is the precursor to the National Public Health Institute and most appreciative that of the fact that the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) has been officially handed over to the Ministry of Health. He said they have been having discussion with the Peoples Republic of China and an agreement has now been sign for the construction of a Tropical Disease Centre close to the EOC so that these two can act as the core in the National Public Health Agency.
He thanked the German delegation for the visit and look forward for more assistance to the Health sector.