The meeting which took place at the Commission’s Conference Room, Mena Hills Makeni, attracted the District Medical Officer, Medical Superintendent, the DHMT, and hospital management.
In his submission, Regional Manager, ACC North Abu Bakarr Kamara underscored the significance of such engagement and encouraged them to continue working assiduously in saving the lives of Sierra Leoneans. Mr. Kamara highlighted key areas in the PNB report where bribery is prevalent in the Makeni Government Hospital and Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) in Bombali District dealing with pregnancy and child birth, under five (5) child health and vaccinations to mention but a few. Manager Kamara noted that the report entails data on complaints received from the public who interact with staff of the different health facilities across the district. He urged the health personnel to come up with effective bribery control strategies at local level to reverse the trend. He implored his audience to use the report as a mirror, and not aimed at painting the health sector negatively. The Regional Manager reminded them that the reporting platform empowers citizens and provides the enabling environment to report issues of bribery anonymously through the 515 free line, the mobile APP and on the website www.pnb.gov.sl. The PNB is funded by the UK Government, through DFID to improve service delivery through data received on the platform, targeted interventions made, and actions taken by the MDAs to address the bribery problems, Mr. Kamara added.
Responding to the PNB report, the District Medical Officer Bombali, Dr Brima O. Kamara lauded the efforts of ACC and its partners for such a reporting portal geared towards curbing petty corruption and bribery in five key service delivery sectors in the country. Dr. Kamara stated that the initiative is a novelty in the country and a step in the right direction. He outlined challenges that perhaps are the primary factors responsible for the spate of bribery in the health facilities such as; lack of integrity, greed, inadequate supply of drugs, high number of volunteers in health facilities, lack of cost recovery drugs at the PHUs, delay in the payment of performance base funds, etc. He disclosed however, that Government is desirous to addressing these difficulties noting, it is unacceptable for health personnel to use any of the aforementioned challenge to accept bribes. DMO assured the Commission of their commitment to ensuring that the PNB campaign succeeds and that the issues raised in the report will be resolved.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the Medical Superintendent Regional Government Hospital, Makeni Dr. Mamoud I. Kamara and the District Health Sister 1 Haja Hawa Kallon.
An interactive session formed the high point of the engagement.