One of the mandates of the Health Ministry is to ensure a well-functioning national health care system that delivers efficient and high quality health care. And for it to be efficient, it has to be accessible, affordable and equitable.
Sierra Leone over the years according to research has been rated as one of the most vulnerable country in terms of infant and maternal mortality as a result of lack of drugs and children some times after birth are not healthy because they are not receiving the required drugs they might need.
President Bio’s government since it assumed office in 2018 offered to pay 10 percent of the free health care cost; 30 percent in 2019 and 50 percent for all free health care costs by 2020 which brings to question why the shortage of drugs when the government is committed to paying for drugs. Or could it be that the drugs are being hoarded by the Health Ministry, or are they being sold by the Community Health center heads.
During investigation AYV found out that community health centers (CHCs) and peripheral health units (PHUs) were to receive the free health care drugs on quarterly basis, but they reportedly last received drugs in February this year and are yet to receive another tranche and even the quantum of drugs received in some PHUs and CHCs which is not enough to treat pregnant women and children under five years.
AYV also found out that pregnant women during their normal medical checkup receive prescription from doctors to buy drugs, ORS and Hand Gloves in pharmacies in order for them to be treated instead of them receiving such drugs and medical materials free of cost, despite the fact that the government is paying the bills.
In some stores visited by AYV we found out that indeed the free health care drugs is in short supply in community health centers (CHCs) and peripheral health units (PHUs) and some of these drugs are expired.
“Yes it is true they give us prescription to go and buy drugs so that they can treat us, but we have more than ten prescription papers in our houses” they said. It could be recalled that President Bio’s government quite recently did a medium term national development plan to have a national feel with regard education, and healthy citizens capable of realizing their fullest potentials.
All effort was put to have the side of the Health Ministry to know the cause as to why the Free Health Care drugs which the government is paying huge money for is now in serious shortage especially in community health centers (CHCs) and peripheral health units (PHUs) but to no avail.