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Page added on December 16, 2011
In a bid to complement government’s strive to promote health conditions, the Sierra Leone Arc of Hope (SLAH) on Tuesday December 13th, 2011 observed a ‘Turning of the Sod’ Ceremony in commencing the construction of an ultra modern children’s Hospital on a 10.6083 acre land situated along the Waterloo – Masiaka Highway.
Turning the sod after a traditional rite, the Vice president of Sierra Leone, Chief Sam Sumana and the First Lady, Sia Nyama Koroma expressed their delight for the organization’s desire to boost the health sector. Vice president Sumana described the venture as landable and timely. According to Vice President Sumana the start of the children’s hospital construction is monumental because it unfolds at a time when government’s reduction in the health sector budget faces serious public outcry. He encouraged other private sector organizations to emulate SLAH.
Vice President Sumana stressed that government’s success depends on such collaborative efforts as being demonstrated by SLAH. He assured SLAH of his invaluable support to fast tract the hospital’s Construction.
Welcoming attendees, the SLAH Board Chairman, Dr. John Sandy informed that Sierra Leone Arc of Hope, which is made of Sierra Leoneans residing in the Diaspora, is apolitical and principally focuses on critical areas that need interventions for speed and sustainable national development. Dr. Sandy revealed that the idea of expending efforts and funds to construct the children’s hospital was hatched by the Ambassador to Washington, His Excellency Bockarie Stevens.
On what prompted this noble intuition, Ambassador Stevens mentioned the spate of acute infant and maternal mortality that was becoming postwar Sierra Leone prior to the introduction of president Koroma’s Free Health Care Delivery. The project which according to its brain child, Ambassador Stevens costs a colossal $3 Million when completed will go a long way to salvage the plight of under–five children, pregnant and lactating mothers. This he established will culminately empower Sierra Leone to attain a major component of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) against 2015. Ambassador Stevens maintained that with an improved health sector the general economy is bound to progress to progress.
Ivan Labisa an employee of the firm contracted for the hospital’s construction, IDEAS Limited informed that they are in readiness to mould the children’s hospital into one of the best in West Africa. “It is our joy as a firm to be involved in this epic project and also contribute our quarter to the development of health care facility in Sierra Leone,” Labisa pointed.
The Member of Parliament of Constituency 9 5 and the Western Area District Council chairman, Hon. Claude.D.M. Kamand and Mr. Al-Hassan Cole respectively thanked SLAH for bringing the facility to their locality.
The assured members of SLAH of their commitment in making the construction a success story. According to them the health facility is a big blessing to their constituents as the community which is scores of miles from Freetown lacks such.
In his capacity as chairman of ceremony the Permanent secretary of Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr. Sheku Tejan Tamu advance that SLAH’s venture demonstrates abundant nationalism and patriotism. This he said exemplify the good thoughts and development spirits of Sierra Leoneans living in other parts of the world.
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included the Minister of Lands, Hon. Momodu Allieu. Pat-Sowe, Minister of political Affairs, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas, and Headman Alpha. Y. Conteh.
In her vote of thanks the Nanette Thomas commended the government, community members and other development stakeholders for giving them their moral and financial support. She called on them to provide the necessary security to ward off encroachers and thieves so that the construction of the hospital can proceed smoothly.
Below are photographs from the grand occasion
By Momoja Lappia
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