The decision, allegedly, by the top echelon in the Office of National Aids Control Programme (NACP) to terminate the services of long serving staff of the programme without the knowledge of the Minister of Health and his deputies, management of the Ministry and National HIV/AIDS Secretariat has raised eyebrows.
Reports state that the Acting Programme Manager of NACP, Dr. Mariama J.S. Murray has terminated the services of Rugiatu Bangura, Isatu Jalloh, Joshua Bangura, Joyce Momoh and others who are VCCT Counselors for pursuing further studies in the health profession without notifying management, according to the termination letters.
Many have commented that the dismissal of staff that has served NACP for over ten years has the tendency to derail gains made in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The reports further that the decision was influenced by the Acting Programme Manager of NACP, Dr. Mariama J.S. Murray on the advised by the National Coordinator of the VCCT Unit Mrs. Mariama Marco Conteh.
Staff who spoke on the issue alleged that one Saffie Kanu is currently pursuing an SRN program in Freetown whilst working as Counselor in Magburaka.
She is said to have abandoned her post for over a year to study in Freetown but is still in employment.
According to investigation, the aforementioned dismissed staffs are not the only first set of NACP staff that has enrolled in a tertiary institution to pursue higher education, including the very VCCT Coordinator, Mariama Marco Conteh, Aminata Sheriff and many others that have recently completed degree courses at University of Makeni (UNIMAK) while working at NACP in Freetown.
Meanwhile, the sacked staff are appealing to the Minister and management of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Director General and his deputy at National HIV/AIDS Secretariat (NAS) and Ombudsman to intervene and salvage the ugly development at NACP which has the tendency to affect the gains being made in the fight against the disease.