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Page added on October 13, 2012
In its drive to spread anti-corruption messages to rural communities, the Northern Regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission has raised awareness on the contents of the Service Charter for Makeni Regional Hospital in Sanda Loko, Gbendembu N’gowahun, and Libeisaygahun Chiefdoms, Bombali District. (Photo: Cross Section of community people at the popularization meeting in Gbendembu Town)
This was in the form of sensitization meetings with health workers and community elders/members in the chiefdom headquarter towns of Kamalo, Gbendembu and Batkanu from Monday 8th to Wednesday 10th October 2012 at their respective court barrays.
Explaining the rationale for the sensitization to health workers and community members at the respective meetings, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Mr. Al-Hassan Sesay said it was meant to enhance their knowledge and understanding on the contents of the service charter. He disclosed that since the launching of the Service Charter in April this year, lots of discussion programmes have been held in various radio stations in Makeni with heads of units at the Makeni Regional Hospital. Mr. Sesay noted that Makeni Regional Hospital being a referral hospital covers all parts of Bombali District, that was why the ACC saw the need to sensitise remote communities on its content so that they would in turn know the services that are provided by the hospital and the cost involved. The Public Education Officer furthered that such engagement would help them understand how corrupt practices can negatively impact on the health service delivery system in the country and the interventions of the Anti-Corruption Commission in the health sector.
Explaining the content of the Service Charter, ACC’s Regional Manager North, Mr. Patrick Sandi said it was one of the preventive methods used by the Commission in the fight against corruption, emphasizing that the ACC was geared towards ensuring that corruption is kicked out of the health sector. Manager Sandi disclosed that the Service Charter was prepared by the hospital management and endorsed by the Commission. He said the ACC developed the Service Charter in a bid to clearly explain to the public the services offered by the hospital, their respective cost and the duration to get the services. “What ACC is trying to achieve in this country is to see that the lives of citizens are improved. People have suffered for so long because of corruption. ACC wants to ensure that people are aware of their rights and can stand for it” he said.
The Regional Manager further told the people of Sanda Loko, Gbendembu N’gowahun, and Libeisaygahun Chiefdoms that the Service Charter was a means to discourage extortion and unnecessary delay of patients at the hospital. He noted that effective health service delivery is one of the benchmarks for the development of the country that was why the ACC was making serious interventions. Manager Sandi explained the cost for some of the common sicknesses and the duration to get such services as stipulated in the service charter. He called on members of the respective chiefdoms to report any health personnel who make demands beyond the prescribed charges in the Charter. Mr. Sandi also explained ACC’s intervention in the Free Health Care programme and encouraged health workers to render genuine services to the people as those who fail to do their work would face the ACC.
Making their inputs, P.C Kandeh Baba III of Gbendembu N’gowahun Chiefdom emphasised the importance of such meeting, noting that it was geared towards enhancing health service delivery for them. The Paramount Chief told his people that they are the ones who bear the brunt and negative effects of corruption most, that was why they should be closer to the ACC. He disclosed that there are some sicknesses affecting them that they had been suppressing because of the high cost involved, but thanked the ACC for opening their eyes to the real cost, as they would now visit the Makeni Hospital.
P.C Alhaji Bai Yankay Kargbo II of Libeisaygahun Chiefdom on behalf of his people appreciated ACC for enlightening them on the contents of the Service Charter. He admitted that before now, they had no knowledge of a Service Charter for Makeni Regional Hospital and thanked ACC for such venture.
Speaking on behalf of the Paramount Chief of Sanda Loko Chiefdom, Mr. Abdulai Gepson Dumbuya appreciated the sensitization drive by the ACC which he noted will go a long way in enhancing effective service delivery. He said they have learnt a lot and promised that his people will join the ACC in the fight by reporting corrupt practices.
Questions, comments, suggestions and answers formed part of the respective meetings.
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