He went on to say that primarily when one looks at our health indicators, they are not the best to write home about. “You look at our number of health workers vis-à-vis the population it is by far below. It is supposed to be like twenty three per ten thousand. We are having about six to seven per ten thousand. And so, it is also on the low side. So for you to have an efficient health service delivery system you need first and foremost the personnel which we are trying to augment. And one of the key deliverables is to make sure that we bring on board more health workers,” Dr. Jambai said.
According to him, “another issue is to make sure that we have the medical equipment and the drugs to work with because at the end of the day we need to create centers of excellence; be it for diagnostic, or be it for health care delivery and in all this, it is the staff with the instruments and medical supplies that dictate the outcome of what that institution should be called – whether it should be a center of excellence or just an ordinary peripheral health unit.”
He maintained however that as of now, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is driven to make sure that health care delivery is improved by having the requisite number of trained staff and have what to do their work with. He added that the key priority in any health institution is being in position to put recruit people based on their competencies in the relevant areas.
“It is like you may be putting the lives of our people at stake if you put the wrong person in the wrong place. And so first and foremost, we need to put people with the right abilities; with the right technical drive in the right environment, the acting CMO told AYV.
He added: “So if someone is interested in doing surgery or gynecology, he/she adds value when he/she is put into an institution as a physician or gynecologist but with no surgical talent we are putting the lives of our people into peril.”
He went on to state that one of the issues is to sit and chat with colleagues on the main areas that they are interested and add value to the nation in so doing. “We deploy them fairly and equitably and encourage them to go into rural settings because the disproportion between urban and rural is high. And in so doing, we need to encourage the young ones to go into the rural areas and deliver. That takes a while; that takes a lot of cajoling because at the end of the day you want the best. And we are coming up with some sort of incentive scheme to motivate young colleagues to move to the rural setting and do health care delivery,” Dr. Jambai noted.
He went on to explain for the teaching hospital, the Minister of Health being an educationist and a professional is driving to get things right and to make sure that the Jui Hospital becomes a teaching hospital alongside other hospitals at various locations to serve as faculties at the various stages of getting it right because it is a necessity to be a specialist.
“We need our own in medicine and so the minute someone finishes the next drive is for them to become specialist because at the end of the day between being a specialist and being a medical officer, it is not only about remuneration but is also pride and prestige. You see the young ones having or driving themselves to the extreme to complete their courses and that is the essence of the university teaching hospital because we want to create our own medical specialists locally,” he maintained.
On the issue of free health care drugs distribution and monitoring, he went on to say that health care delivery should not be left only in the hands of health care delivery workers. “It is one thing that should involve all stakeholders and the stakeholders include all of us from yourself; by you being at the point of distribution and sending out the message that we need to be our own servants; we need to be our own watchmen to ensure that what is meant for the patient gets down to the patient at the farthest distance away from Freetown,” the acting CMO said.
“That is the drive of the Honorable Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Yejan Wurie to add value to the current administration of health. We should not be reliant on people coming from afar to do it for us. There are basic things we need to do that people will help us do better when they meet us doing it. So let us ensure we do the little we can. When somebody wants to help you but meets you sleeping, they will find it difficult to wake you up, let alone help you. Let us wake up, let us start working. It is not only about health care it is also about all of social fabric and we should meet those who want to help us halfway,” said Dr. Jambai who has been at this post for about two months now.