Sierra Leone

Tulane/Lassa Fever Programme hands over Rehabilitated Annex Ward to Ministry of Health

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Kenema, Mar. 30, 2015 (MOHS) – The Tulane/Lassa Fever Programme has handed over the newly rehabilitated and refurbished Annex Ward of the Kenema Government Hospital to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation at a ceremony held at the Hospital premises in Kenema.

Officially opening the Ward, Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister1, Mr. Foday Sawi described Tulane Lassa Fever Project team as a positive and valued partner in development.

He observed that the project has been partnering with the Ministry of Health since 2003, adding that as its core function, the project diagnoses, treat and undertakes surveillance of Lassa fever.

The project, Mr. Sawi said has over the years been very supportive to the Ministry by way of procurement of drugs, equipment and medical supplies adding that the institution gave Sierra Leone a good start in the war against Ebola by providing the first sets of training for surveillance staff for the detection of the Ebola virus.

The Deputy Minister on behalf of the Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah and staff of the Ministry thanked the Tulane Lassa Fever project team for the good job in rebranding the Annex Ward, assuring them of the judicious use of the facility.

The Director of Hospitals and Laboratory Services, Dr. Victor Matt- Lebbey said the recent Ebola outbreak has exposed the fragility and systemic weaknesses in the health care delivery in the country as facilities lack infection, prevention and control at the wake of the outbreak, adding that plans are being put in place at national level to improve on infection, prevention and control in the hospitals and Peripheral Health Units.

The Director of Hospitals reiterated that about two months back, the Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah shared his Vision for the health sector Post Ebola Recovery Programme, adding that part of the vision was to rebuild the health system based on five pillars including governance, service delivery, drugs and medical supplies, health care financing, surveillance and health information system.

The Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Matron Haja Fatmata Mansaray commended nurses and other front line health workers for the great sacrifice in the fight to contain the Ebola disease and urged them to do more.

She said nurses should be proud of themselves because they constitute about 75 percent of the health work force, and paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the outbreak of the Ebola

Tulane/Lassa Fever Programme Coordinator, Simbirie Jalloh said the Tulane/Lassa Fever project has a long and memorable history with the Ministry of Health in the prevention and control of Lassa fever and other hemorrhagic diseases in Sierra Leone and the West Coast.

She said over the years, they have demonstrated trust and commitment in ensuring that Lassa fever and other hemorrhagic fevers are prevented and control, adding that the handing over of the rehabilitated Annex Ward is the continued commitment of Tulane’s project to the public health system of the country.

Statements were also made by the Mayor, Kenema City, Joseph Samba Keifala, Chairman, District Ebola Task Force, Joseph Bunting-Graden, Head of Tulane/Lassa Fever Laboratory, Augustine Goba, Chairman, Kenema District Council, Dr. Senesie Mansaray and the Medical Superintendent, Dr. Prince Masuba.

Cutting of the tape and a conducted tour of the facility climaxed the ceremony.