President Julius Maada Bio on Friday commissioned the start of construction work on a mini-modern hospital at Masongbo village in the MakariGbanti Chiefdom, near Makeni, and also launched the free ambulance service forBombali District, northern Sierra Leone.
Work commences on 30 November this year and after completion in August 2019, the centre will have an operating theatre, X-Ray unit, drug store, public health officers’ unit and a staff quarter.
The President said he was delighted to mark the start of the construction work because a proper healthcare service was the basis for human capital development, adding that without quality healthcare it would be difficult to sustain development. He disclosed that after its completion some four miles away from Makeni, the new health facility located in a strategic township surrounded by many villages, would provide better facilities than it previously had done.
“This project will help to provide better healthcare service for our people in this part of the country and will ease the burden on the health facilities in the district headquarter town of Makeni. We are trying to prevent our citizens from diseases and where we cannot we want to provide the facilities for a quick response,” he said.
President Bio also said the free ambulance service was part of his determination to end the unnecessary death rate across the country, saying the service would be available throughout the day and would be able to collect sick people throughout the district within a short period of time to save lives. He called on citizens to monitor the ambulances and ensure that they were used for the intended purposes.
Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Anthony Sandi, said the new facility was a continuation of President Bio’s agenda for inclusive development. He noted that contrary to lies from critics, the Bio-led government would continue to evenly distribute resources and development projects throughout the country.
Director of Primary Health at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr Alie Wurie, said when completed the health facility at Masongbo would serve as a model for upgrading community healthcare centres across the country. He disclosed that the site would be handed over to the contractors on the 30 November and work is expected to be completed by August 2019.
The project is part of a US$ 5.7 million loan from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) for the construction of eight peripheral healthcare centres across the country.