15 April 2009

Sierra Leone: Kunike Chiefdom Gets Health Center

Freetown — Concern Sierra Leone, a non-governmental organization, has opened a new maternal and child health post for the people of Kunike chiefdom in the Tonkolili district.

Manoj Kumar, the country director for Concern Sierra Leone, congratulated the community for its successful community driven development project.

The people of Matholley village in Kunike Chiefdom contributed 50 per cent of the cost and materials for the health post, while Concern provided the rest.

Addressing a large number of community members at the inauguration ceremony at the Matholley village in Kunike chiefdom, the women's leader, Yeabu Tholly, said, "The village has long been waiting to have such medical facility like this, and we must be grateful to the effort."

The community thanked Dr. Samuel Bangura, the District Medical Officer for Tonkolili and Kumar for their active participation and involvement to the construction of the Maternal and Child Health Post.

According to Dr. Bangura, the medical post will serve 12 other villages, with a total population of about 3,700.

Dr. Bangura said the clinic is dedicated to the former Country Director of Concern Sierra Leone, the late Dr. Shahnewaz Alam Khan who died in a road accident in 2008 in Freetown. During his one year serving in Sierra Leone, Dr. Khan contributed towards building the local capacity in community development, he said.

Dr. Bangura said the health post project was started in 2008 when Dr. Khan visited in Matholley village.

Kumar also reconfirmed Concern's commitment in helping government of Sierra Leone at district and national level. He said part of this is "reaching to the unreachable areas particularly in Tonkolili districts working with the community in bringing long lasting change in the lives of the poor and vulnerable people."

He said Concern is working in 323 villages in five chiefdoms in Tonkolili and 6 major slums area Freetown, with a focus on health, livelihood and education. It is also supporting 11 health facilities with essential drugs and medical consumables in Tonkolili, increasing sensitization and awareness, and making access to safe water and sanitation for the population of Tonkolili.

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