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In her campaign to reduce maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and promote institutional delivery, First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma on Saturday, 4TH August 2012 handed over medical equipment and accessories, baby packs and solar lights to the Koidu Government Hospital in Kono in the east of the country. (Photo: First Lady encouraging one of the lactating mothers to do exclusive breastfeeding )
Her donation is aimed at improving the quality of life of new born babies and pregnant women who give birth in hospitals. Handing over the equipment, First Lady said that she is complimenting government’s work in the health and education sectors.
She said that the Free Health Care initiative is a big chain tied to the foot of government, but that government has to maintain and sustain it to make maternal mortality a problem of the past and a foundation for the future of the country’s children.
Mrs. Koroma stated that the death of a child at an early age is a disaster and the death of a woman in childbirth is equally a disaster. She reaffirmed her commitment to continue placing priority on women and children’s issues in the country.
The First Lady appealed to pregnant women to always go to hospital for safe delivery and to lactating mothers to engage in exclusive breast feeding of their babies and to take them to hospital whenever they are sick.
She said that as a mother and a trained Nurse, her Women Initiative for Safer Health (WISH) project is to help fight against maternal mortality. Mrs. Koroma warned against teenage pregnancies, early marriages, and urged young women and girls to make education their priorities. She encouraged them to join family planning for a healthy life and to have quality and healthy children.
Receiving the items, Dr. Ibrahim Kargbo-Labour thanked the First Lady for her timely intervention and assured that the items will be used for their intended purposes.
Matron Zainab Kamara commended Mrs. Koroma for the medical equipment, especially the surgical kits and solar lights which she disclosed were in dire need. She said that the solar lights will help them in terms of emergency caesarean operations at night as the hospital is without electricity.
The Matron disclosed that since the breakdown of the generator, they have been using Chinese lamps to do operations.
One of the beneficiaries, Hawa Kabbah thanked the First Lady for her gesture and said that the donation will save many women and children from dying. She said that in her first pregnancy she delivered at home because of lack of money, but with the free health care, she this time round delivered safely in a hospital without paying a single cent.
The items donated include baby packs, small and big towels, surgical kits, fetor stethoscope, plasters, solar lights, theatre kits, bed linings and mackintosh among others. The First Lady made a conducted tour of the hospital.
Similar donations were also made in Tombodu in the Kamaa Chiefdom in addition to learning materials and 70 bags of cement as contribution towards the construction of an additional classroom at the Ahmidiyya Secondary School in Tombodu. She also presented ten bags of rice and Le 10 Million to the five sections in the Kamaa Chiefdom.
By Abibatu Kamara
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