Freetown, Sept. 8, 2015 (MOHS) – A joint Needs Assessment visit spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with WHO and the Ministry of Education Science and Technology to provide support to the College of Medical and Allied Health Science has been proven positive and timely.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Anders Nordstrom during the visit commended the Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah for his initiative to strengthen the human resource capacity of COMAHS noting the devastating effect on health professionals as a result of the Ebola virus disease outbreak. The Ebola situation he said triggered the need for the training of more professional staff, adding that WHO is committed to provide the necessary support including Teaching Materials, equipment and human resource in line with the aspiration of the government of Sierra Leone.
He described the project as long term but a solid preparedness for the future. Dr. Nordstrom reiterated his commitment to work with the Health Ministry and government to contain the Ebola virus disease and gets it into zero.
“I am very excited seeing first year students coming out as young generation, and will give the desired support”, Dr. Nordstrom maintained. He admonished the students to be very cautious, and to protect themselves, and follow the guidelines that would make them useful in the quest to become professionals.
Health and Sanitation Minister Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah lamented the tragedy caused by Ebola over the lives of a good number of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, pointing out that part of the joint assessment with WHO aims at filling the gap of the fallen victims. The Medical School he maintained is one such institution structured to build the capacity of those that are pursuing training as well as the incoming ones, taking into consideration the issue of manpower to provide Lecturers in various disciplines, which he noted is also a big challenge.
“The College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences though under the Education Ministry and the University of Sierra Leone, we are the end beneficiary and we consider strengthening it for the benefit of the country since nobody is bigger than Sierra Leone”. The Minister disclosed sourcing assistance from WHO, ADB, the World Bank and putting together his resilient efforts to making the college a more viable institution.
Education Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Minkailu Bah noted the mechanism put in place by the Health Ministry to get a Tertiary Teaching and a Post graduate training in country, and lauded the Minister for the initiative. The Health Minister’s proposal for in country specialist training, Dr. Bah said would reduce tracking abroad professionals, hoping that Parliament would give the initiative the desired support when tabled by the Minister.
The Principal COMAHS, Dr. Mohamed Samai remarked that the Ebola eroded their human resource base and that even before the Ebola outbreak they were not the best. He acclaimed the proposed project initiated by the Health Minister in meeting their human resource capacity and other challenges described as critical.
The move by the Minister and team to see what obtain at campus, Dr. Samai said would help scale up their training which started since the inception of the college in 1988.
Other highlights of the visit include a conducted tour of the facilities with the Provost, Dr. Hindolo Samai, and the Vice Chancellor Pro. Ekundayo Thompson and the Deputy WHO Country Representative, Dr. Zabulon Yoti.