Minister of Health and Sanitation has yesterday disclosed that plans were underway to extend the government free healthcare facility to school going children, adding that health care facility was an important component to the president's free education package.
Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie made the statement yesterday at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown, while receiving consignment of medicines from the US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Madam Maria Brewer, as support to Ebola survivors in the country.
He said health workers were playing significant role in the development process of Sierra Leone and that the President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio recognizes their diverse role now and even during the fight against the deadly Ebola.
He added that the handing over of a consignment of drugs worth 200,000 dollars did not only shows the US support to government and people of Sierra Leone, but rather cements the longstanding diplomatic ties between the United States Government and the Government of Sierra Leone.
"The new direction will expand the free health care facility because if we consider the level of poverty in the country, it will be very difficult for people to take care of their health needs. The president has said that the free health care should be expanded by including school health program," he said.
"It is important at the moment to start talking about family planning in our schools. There should be health posts where matured students can go and take contraceptives because our children are dying as a result of teenage pregnancy."
He noted that the donated drugs will be distributed among twenty hospitals across the country for people to get access to the facility.
While handing over the item, US Ambassador, Madam Maria Brewer, said she recognised the milestones of their post Ebola health system that strengthened the health sector, as well as supported the donation of 19 priority medicines to support the emerging needs and medical care for Ebola survivors.
She said the donation to the ministry of health and sanitation was a symbol of their commitment to promoting and supporting the Global Health Security Agenda as the international community continues to work towards a sustained Ebola; Free West Africa.
"Today, we are providing medicines to treat the most common medical conditions of Ebola Survivors, which are also common among the general Sierra Leone population. These medicines, which are extremely limited in Sierra Leone, will support eye care, mental health, arthritis and joint pain. The United States Government has supported the recovery and post-recovery policies and programs of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation," she said.