Health Minister Vows to Restore the Integrity of the Health Ministry

Freetown, Feb. 27, 2015 (SLENA) – The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah has presented key issues on its Post Ebola Recovery Plan to members of the Health Sector Coordinating Committee towards building a resilient health system for Sierra Leone.

minHealth and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah

The issues dilated on include the Cleaning of the Ministry’s Pay Roll, Use of Donor funds, Focus on the May-October 2014 Audit Report, Performance of Donor Partners, the NPPU capability to deliver positively, NGO Mapping, IHPAU, the Vision Strategy and Operating Principles of the Ministry on Transparency, Accountability and Probity with focus on the Agenda for Prosperity, formed the basis of Dr. Fofanah’s vehicular movement to building a functional resilient national and sub national health system to ensure quality, accessible, and affordable health care delivery services in the country.

min1Cross section of Members of the HSC Committee

Expressing his determination to restore the glory and integrity of the Health Ministry at a jam-packed Health Sector Coordinating Committee Meeting on Friday February 27, 2015 in the Ministry’s conference hall at Youyi Building in Freetown, the Minister reiterated the need to clean up the Ministry’s Pay Roll for a better human resource management for deserving illegible health workers across the country.

He disclosed ongoing measures to weed out ‘haunted ghost’ workers with a view to getting a well-structured human resource database with the requisite skills and qualification of people that can provide the needs of the Ministry, its partners, the government, and the Sierra Leone community.

Donor Funds

“I want to achieve a prudent use of donor resources and government funds to improve accountability” opined Dr. Fofanah.

The transition of management of donor funds to the Ministry and transfer of funds has been articulated into a drum of local and international expert partnership management fund mechanism systems control by reliable managers with specific key functions and Terms of Reference, dealing with Procurement and other issues.

Focusing his kaleidoscope on donor funds, the Minister re-counted duplication of efforts, and piece meal implementation of small scale projects by some partners and poised to discourage clandestine activities, adding that NGO Mapping is an integral component to get the desired results towards achieving the Ministry’s goal.

Focus on the Auditor General Report

Dr. Fofanah encouraged all health staff of his Ministry and partners to focus on the Auditor General Service Sierra Leone Report in a positive light and not on what may divert attention for resourceful service delivery to the nation.

“Let us don’t look at the negative of the Audit Report but the good that it brings to us”, said Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah.

The Health Minister noted that 80 percent of the Audit Report is lack of adequate documentation, adding that bringing accountability project with transparency and probity, for Regional Support Officers would help to ensure the effective and efficient use of ICT to enhance adequate records keeping and utilization of data.

He reminded his audience about the words of President Koroma that “Ebola Money is Blood Money”, and his stance on zero tolerance. “Sierra Leone is the only country that calls for self-auditing, Guinea, Liberia and others in the past did not execute that move”, Dr. Fofanah opined and encouraged people to see the value of money, guidance, protection, positive change for progress and development on the current Audit Report before Parliament.

NPPU

Commenting on the required performance of the National pharmaceutical procurement Unit (NPPU), Dr. Fofanah stressed the need for an effective and efficient service delivery, looking at a National Pharmaceutical Procurement and Supply Chain, the restructuring of the Technical support and the current team.

He described the current storage at the Central Medical Stores decades old facility, as an eye-sore, noting that the stores we know for long was a Prison Camp during the 2nd World War, and must be reconstructed to meet international standard.

Focusing on Results

The blue print for hard work will be a reward for outstanding performance in every sector and units to deserving staff as motivation to do more within the framework of accountability and the Agenda for Prosperity on building a functional resilient health system for Sierra Leone.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) mapping, the re-establishment of the Integrated Health Projects Administration Unit (IHPAU) also formed high point of the Minister’s Presentation which attracted DFID, USAID, UNFPA, ADB, WHO, Line Ministries, Civil Society, local and international non-governmental organizations among others.

 min2(From extreme left) Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo

The Presentation of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo on the implementation of the Joint Programme of Work Funding (JPWF), Review of the 2010 National Health Sector Strategic Plan, Review of the Performance Based Financing (PBF) allocation, Workers Safety, Community ownership, Essential health care service, and the road to Recovery among several key issues bordering on building a functional resilient health system formed part of the meeting.

JAK/KK/SLENA