For the period 26th June to 26th July Bo District recorded 31 PNB complaints as compared to previous periods (February-March and April-May 2017) which figures were discouragingly high. Of the 31 complaints, 10 reported paying a bribe, 8 met an honest officer, and 13 did not pay a bribe.
Manager, Anti-Corruption Commission South, Samuel Marah, described the figures as encouraging but dissatisfying in view of the fact that under five child health recorded the highest number of complaint. He said it means that the possibility of losing a child to bribery remains a threat.
According to Mr. Marah, bribery in the health sector is a serious issue not only for the ACC but for every Sierra Leonean. It is a concern for everyone to play a part to take action to eradicate bribery in health affairs. He told the Bo District Medical Health Team (DHMT) to work towards building the image of the primary heath care unit, and conduct themselves in line with professional standards.
He said the meeting with the DHMT is to update them on the PNB, assess measures implemented to address bribery complaints, and monitor operations of the Integrity Management Committee (IMC).
He called on the public not to keep silent on experiences of bribery happening in the health sector, including education, police, electricity (EDSA), and water (SALWACO). He said the people of Bo must make it their responsibility to reject and report bribery.
Southern Regional Coordinator, Center for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL), Jeremy Simbo, called on the DMO and his team to do more to increase services to the people of Bo. He said unwarranted payments for certain services including police medical report, drugs, and malaria test, are unbearable. He drew attention to the several broken vehicles, which he said requires maintenance to help movement of personnel and materials.
Public Education Officer Joseph Hazeley described the meeting as important, saying the Commission will continue its PNB complaints response meetings with the five piloted MDAs in a bid to monitor IMCs, assess administrative measures addressing complaints, and provide general update on the PNB.