By: Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
Despite the adage -‘Health is Wealth’ and the strong desire by successive Governments to improve the Health Standards in the Country, yet Health Services remain a serious challenge for the bulk of People in Sierra Leonean. Most Sierra Leoneans find it very much difficult to gain proper Medical Service. It is an open secret that People with even minor Medical Conditions are often referred out of the Country for treatment. Those who are financially strong do fly to China, Germany, America, England, India or elsewhere for illnesses that ought to have been easily addressed within the Country.
But it is a different ballgame altogether for those who are financially challenged. This category of Persons could not even afford a trip to nearby Ghana. The majority of such People are resident in the Rural Areas and in distant villages. Therefore their hope to survive a common ailment hangs on a thin thread. It is therefore a normal pattern for such People to continue perishing slowly until they give out their last breath.
However it appears the plight of this financially challenged category of People would now breathe a sigh of relief with the establishment of the ‘Love Bridges Health Center in Lokomasama’. This is a Health Center situated at Paitefu Junction in the Lokomasama Chiefdom, Port Loko District. It was established about a decade ago with the main aim of salvaging People in the Rural Setting who until now, entirely relied on ‘Quack or Pepper Doctors ‘for Medical Service. It used to be a very high risk for them as those Medical Service Givers were not trained or qualified. What normally obtained was that People return with more complications after treatment. Many more have suffered untimely deaths as a result of these limited opportunities.
Alfred Adonis Young is the Manager at the Love Bridges Health Center. He said the idea for the setting up of the Health Center was born out of the strong desire of Rev. Fr. Ignazio Poddighe – a Catholic Priest who was then resident in Lungi with responsibilities to conduct Mass at the Paitefu Junction Parish. He said Rev. Fr. Poddighe was so much touched by what was viewed as deplorable the Health Condition of the Locals. The Rev. Fr. therefore started providing first aid treatment to members of his congregation. Mr. Young explained how the man of God was eventually compelled to extend service to the nearby villages as news of his assistance spread beyond Lokomasama Chiefdom.
The Love Brides Health Center Manager further explained how the service to the Less Privileged has resulted to the construction of a Modern Health Facility. He said they have since paced up their service from mere first aid to what can now be described as advanced Medical Services. He said they now have Teams of professionally trained and well experienced Medical Practitioners from Abroad, who come on rotational bases.
Mr. Alfred Adonis Young said in an interview with the Sierra Leone News Agency [SLENA] that, these Medical Practitioners do come to conduct all forms of treatments including minor and major surgical operations on a free of cost services. He said a team of Specialists has just arrived from Italy to carry out a range of surgical operations. Mr. Young explained how his Management is in touch with the Port Loko District Medical Officer for these Socialists to offer some Medical Trainings to Health Workers at the Peripheral Health Units around the District.
The Manager however outlined the issue of Electricity Supply as one of the most crucial challenge his Administration is faced. He said they are spending huge sums of money on fuel to keep the Center up and running especially when these Foreign Doctors are around. He expressed dismay over the fact that they do not have access to the Solar Light Supply which the Lokomasama Community is enjoying despite the frantic efforts and readiness to pay for the Service. He said the provision of a reliable source of electricity supply to the Center would have enabled Management to further cut down on the cost of Drugs and even extend the Service to other deprived Communities. The Manager said he would therefore be grateful if Government could help in ensuring that Love Bridges Health benefits from the Solar Light Supply in the Lokomasama Community.