Following the launch of the Water and Sanitation (WASH) Project yesterday at the World Vision office in Freetown, Infection Prevention and control (IPC) materials worth US$400,000 (Le 4Bn) were donated to hospitals in Sierra Leone.
The Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Dr Amara Jambai received the items on behalf government. The donation was made to enhance safety and protection of health personnel in the execution of their duties in various hospitals across the country.
The World Vision donation is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 as well as the National Mid-Term Development Plan of the ‘New Direction’ Government.
Goals 3 and 6 of SDG’s strive to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages as well as availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all in Sierra Leone.
10,000-litere Milla tanks, soap and other hand-washing materials are among the donated items. In her address during the launching ceremony, WVSL Director of Operations, Grace Kargbo saw WASH project as one most important WVSL Humanitarian interventions.
She said the work of World Vision was to transform millions of lives with children at the focus of its operations.
“Children must see the fullness of life in the area of good health, education and the protection from harm,” she assured.
WVSL Operations Director pointed out that her organisation operates in six districts in Sierra Leone adding that since the outbreak of COVID- funds were repurposed to support government in its fight against the horrific virus.
“World Vision worked with various MDA’s to break the chain of transmission of Corona Virus Disease,” he said.
Madam Kargbo also highlighted the various WASH interventions World Vision has made over the years in Freetown and the provinces.
“19 Solar-Powered Mechanised Boreholes were constructed, 44 block latrines were dug in various communities across the country to improve WASH. An additional three boreholes were also constructed for School for the Blind in Kono, eastern Sierra Leone,” she said.
Madam Kargbo also indicated that owing to pleas from Freetown City Council, three mechanised boreholes were constructed for communities in the east of Freetown.
She also promised that 406 peripheral health units across the country and three hospitals stand to benefit WVSL WASH project.
Owing to the promise made by WVSL Director of Operations, Ola During Hospital, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital and Macauley Street Government Hospital stands to benefit 24-hour running water.
As part of World Vision’s continued humanitarian interventions in the country, she assured, 40 taps in Freetown would be repaired, and 10,000-litre Milla Tanks to be deployed within Freetown to ease water problem.
Madam Kargbo also promised that as schools reopen this month, hand-washing materials will be offered to schools as well as Youyi building to reduce queues.
The WVSL’s move towards enhanced WASH programme for hospitals in Sierra Leone came after a shocking discovery of the absence of IPC and cleaning materials in Freetown’s three referral hospitals including Connaught Hospital.
The discovery, madam Kargbo, said was made during an IPC training WVSL held with healthcare professionals. WVSL, she says, is determined to see that Goal-3 of SDG is met.
The launching ceremony was chaired by the Coordinator for Sierra Leone Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (SLANGO), Shallay Davies. The SLANGO coordinates the work of local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in the country.
The SLANGO Coordinator told the audience that her institution could identify 60 NGO’s working in the WASH sector adding that WVSL has been doing a lot to support government in the WASH clusters.
She saw WVSL work in the WASH sector as great and in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone considering the appalling state of WASH facilities in the country.
“Although the Demographic Health Survey of 2017 indicates that 60% and 90% of rural and urban population have access to water, the reality is still a problem,” she claims. She also pointed out that the outbreak of Ebola Virus and COVID-19 in 2014 and 2019 respectively worsened WASH situation in Sierra Leone.
The SLANGO Coordinator also spoke about WVSL’s positive contribution in ensuring that everybody has access to WASH facilities.
“If a particular household has water and the other does not have, diseases can easily spread,” she claimed. Owing to its humanitarian work in Sierra Leone, World Vision is seen as a torch-bearer in the darkest hour.
“World Vision is a candle lighter in the areas of strengthening health systems, supporting children and collaborates with other organisations for the protection of the child against any harm,” the SLANGO Coordinator maintains. Freetown City Council, the municipality’s highest institution was represented by the Deputy Mayor, Abu Bakarr Koroma.
The FCC second Gentleman was highly appreciative of WVSL’s interventions in various sectors as a huge portion of the donated materials will go to the municipality. The FCC Deputy Mayor further appealed to WVSL to pay attention to communities at the Hill Side and Calaba Town in the east. He said WVSL had been supporting the council in every disaster especially Ebola and COVID-19 periods.
“World Vision is very much supportive of FCC. They have played a great role in supporting the council during hard times,” Mr Koroma said. In his contribution during the launching ceremony, the District Covid-19 Response Centre Mahoi Ansu was thrilled at WVSL’s gamut humanitarian interventions.
“The donation of the IPC and cleaning materials by World Vision is a novel gesture,” he commended. He also saw the donation of the IPC materials as a contribution to personal as well as environmental health and sanitation in the country.
As a key player in the fight against COVID-19, Mr Ansu dilated on DECOVERC’s latest modus operandi (Method of operation) in its campaign against COVID-19 noting that ‘Operation Surge’ is now the latest model.
Under the new model, he said, COVID-19 testing would be done on patients who visit hospitals for treatment. The operation has been carried out and positive results have come out. He hopes that with such model in the campaign against COVID-19, the country will soon end the campaign against the virus.
“The elimination of the virus from Sierra Leone is part of the reasons World Vision donates to Sierra Leone,” he said. Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) is the supervising authority for all NGO’s in Sierra Leone.
MoPED’s official, the Deputy Minister, Dr Robert Jakanda appreciated WVSL noting that that the organisation has always been with them. He said his ministry was separated from that of Finance so that it could come up with sound policies to streamline NGO interventions in many sectors of national development. One of the policies, Dr Jakanda said was the National Development Framework which was an addition to the Service level Agreement for coherence and consistency in NGO interventions.
“MoPED relies on collaboration with NGO’s for the benefit of Sierra Leone,” he said.
Launching of the WASH project for hospitals and the Sustainable Water Project by the Deputy Minister, MoHS and Minister of Water Resources respectively formed an important part of the occasion.