El Hno. Micheel Koroma nos ha enviado una carta explicando la situación de cómo se encuentra el país de Sierra Leona ante la alarma creada por la pandemia del Covid-19. Alarma que está afectando a todos los niveles de la sociedad, tanto económicos, sociales, sanitarios y también, como no, a nivel religioso, y que han comportado la suspensión de los actos del mes de Ramadán para los musulmanes que suponen la mayoría de la población del país.
En el ámbito sanitario, la carencia de medios y el hecho de que los hospitales estén vacíos por el miedo a contagio, hace que éstos sean económicamente insostenibles. Sus gestores se ven en la necesidad de hacer planteamientos de cierre temporal de muchos de ellos, reduciendo servicios e incluso del número del personal activo.
En estos momentos podemos ver, en las fotos que nos han enviado, como nuestro hospital de Mabesseneh intenta adecuar los espacios asistenciales por una posible expansión de la pandemia, y el intento de conseguir ayudas, tanto del gobierno de Sierra Leona como externas, para no tener optar al cierre temporal aunque ya se ha tenido que reducir el personal.
Os dejamos con la información que nos ha enviado el Hno. Michael en su extensión y formato original:
COVID -19 Related Challenges Might Coerce Mabesseneh Hospital to Close down Service in Lunsar By Hassan Bruz Northern Bureau Chief Even though the Corona Virus outbreak is just a couple of Months old, yet the damage it has caused is very much immense. The Damage is believed to be so massive that it would take over one year for the World to regain its development gear, even if the Virus is eradicated right away. The chance for the affected Countries to recover fully is bound to last much longer. In the West African State of Sierra Leone, the situation is likely to be far more devastating. The impact of the Corona Virus is sure to negatively impact on almost every facet of life ranging from Private to Public Sectors. The Semblance of challenges to be posed by COVID -19 has started taking a center space on the Lives of Muslims who are currently observing a month long Fasting. The Imams seem to bear the brunt of it all as they are now on the verge of forfeiting their usual material rewards. This is as a result of the ban on Congregational Prayers recently levied by Government. It should be pointed out that Imams are People who lead Prayers in Mosques but are often not on monthly salaries. They depend on offerings whose peak is normally during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Undeniably, the St. John of God Catholic Hospital which is popularly known as the Mabesseneh Hospital will be one of the mostly affected Institutions in spite the fact that its Management is championing the prevention of further spread of the Virus. This Hospital was established more than 5 Decades ago in the Marampa Chiefdom and has been one of the most reliable Hospitals in terms of affordable, effective and quality service delivery. It is widely known as a ‘leading referral Hospital’ in Sub Saharan Africa. The St. John of God Catholic Hospital played a great role during the Ebola scourge in addition to its traditional humanitarian gestures to Children and Pregnant Women who are offered almost free of cost medical treatment at the Hospital.
The St. John of God Catholic Hospital is combat ready to stop the spread of the ravaging Virus in its operational Areas. This Hospital is comparatively far more equipped with regards Infrastructure, Human Resource and Infection Prevention Control Materials. Its Management has restructured the Isolation Unit, Renewed the Infections Prevention Control Materials and converted its Emergency Department to a Triaging Unit where every visiting Patient is processed. Currently, Patients are provided with Facemasks and are required to answer basic questions on their traveling history before a mini diagnose is conducted to enable the Medical Doctor determine where the Patient is to be referred next As outlined by the Medical Officer and Coordinator of the St. John of God Hospital – Dr. Andrew, the Management has also conducted a series of simulation trainings for Staff and other categories of Health Workers, provided Personal Preventive Equipments and Hand S anitizers to its Staff while ensuring that Social Distancing is strictly adhered to by all.
But it appears this Institution would eventually closedown services any time soon, if Government fails to intervene within the shortest time. This was disclosed by the Director and Chief Executive Officer at the St. John of God Catholic Hospital in Sierra Leone – Rev. Bro. Michael Koroma. He said the most outstanding reason for this probable decision is based on the fact that there has been a drastic drop of Patients into the Hospital and the apparent refusal of Government to render a helping hand. Rev. Bro. Koroma disclosed that about 60 percent of the Hospital’s revenue is normally secured from the proceeds of Patients while the 40 percent used to come from Partners Abroad – the bulk of which have already been devastated by COVID – 19 Pandemic.
Rev. Bro. Koroma explained to the Sierra Leone News Agency [SLENA] some of the measures his Administration has already adopted in a bid to avert an eventual closedown of the Hospital. He said a good number of his Staff especially those on temporal contracts have been asked to stay from work until things are normalized. He said that was a hard decision to make considering the scarcity of gainful employment in the Country. He however noted that the problem of insufficient funds to keep the Hospital functional shall continue to be a decisive challenge even if he is to downsize the Staff further. The Director and Chief Executive Officer disclosed that he would not be able to raise enough funds for the payment of salaries to Workers after this Month. ‘I am therefore looking forward for the immediate intervention of Government or else we will be left with no option than to close down the Hospital’ the Rev. Bro. maintained.
Although would be pointless to over emphasis the relevance of the existence of the St. John of God Hospital towards National Development many are of the conviction that the Hospital has immensely been complementing the efforts of Government in the provision of quality Health Services in the Country. As earlier spotlighted by Dr. Andrew – the COVID – 19 Coordinator at the St. John of God Hospital, it would have a good a pleasant idea should Government factored them as one of the Institutions to benefit from the recently announced Allowances for Corona Health Workers in the Country. This is believed to have not only alleviated the current financial burden on Management, but would as well enhance a continuation of the much needed Health Service Delivery in that part of the Country. The fact remains that the Staff of St. John of God Hospital are Health Workers themselves and are remarkably involved in the fight against further spread of the Virus. A glance at the photos below would help you visualize the classic level of preparedness to combat the Spread and the provision of quality Health Service…
Bro. Michael Koroma