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Sierra Leone News: “We are no longer quacks” – CHOs boast

One of the Community Health Workers

One of the Community Health Workers

Dressed in their traditional, white, medical uniforms, Community Health Workers celebrated outside Parliament after MPs unanimously passed the Community Health Practitioners Act 2017. The CHWs chanted, “we are no longer quacks”.
The Bill was first proposed in 2016 and Parliament have worked on the Bill for almost a year. 32 MP’s from the All Peoples Congress (APC), 21 MPs from the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and 2 Paramount Chiefs verbally voted unanimously to pass the Bill.
Hon. Mohamed Lamin Mansaray, a community health worker and the mover of the Bill, said he is the third MP to successfully present a private member bill that was enacted into law.
“Primary health care is the backbone of the Ministry of Health. Seventy percent of the work done at hospitals is done by Community Health Officers,” he says.
According to Haja Kadiatu Jalloh, a CHO with 27 years working experience, the passing of this law has brought joy and security into their lives. There is now regulation in our field.
“I was practicing as a “quack” despite being fully qualified. There was no legal instrument governing my operations. But with this Act now in place I’m more than happy and safe to work,” she disclosed. She called on President Koroma to quickly sign the document so it can come into force.
Mohamed Lamin Sillah, Senior Community Health Officer with over 23 years experience, maintained the action of Parliament is a big success for all CHO who now have a regulatory document governing their operation and guaranteeing their position in the medical field.
The CHO’s explained at the various Peripheral Health Units, people are entirely dependent on them for medical attention.
According to Hon. Foday Rado Yokie, of Constituency 068 in Bo District, the new Act will bring sanity in the area of health. He agreed the bulk of the population rely on the services of CHO’s especially those in the provincial areas.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Friday May 12, 2017.

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