By Amin Kef (Ranger)
Honorable Alpha Ben Mansaray, the esteemed Member of Parliament representing Moyamba District and Deputy Spokesperson for the Opposition, in a recent series of impactful actions, has emerged as a beacon of compassionate leadership, actively addressing crucial healthcare challenges in that region or district.
The Honorable Member of Parliament, who took office on November 7, 2023, has swiftly made his mark by advocating for critical issues during Parliamentary sessions. He notably passionately urged for due consideration to be given to improved transport provisions for healthcare workers and emphasized the pressing need for better maintenance of ambulances to curb maternal and child mortalities during the 2024 budget debate.
In a succinct, compassionate and persuasive manner, Hon. Alpha Ben Mansaray laid bare the urgent need for attention to be given to the health sector with particular reference to the entire country and Moyamba District in particular as well as calling on the Minister of Finance and various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to not only prioritize but enhance ambulance services nationwide. He highlighted some of the critical challenges besetting the health sector emphasizing the plight of the non-operational state of ambulances across the country, especially in Moyamba District.
He underscored the importance for the Government to allocate funds that should be utilized for the maintenance of existing ambulances, averring that it would be cost-effective to revive faulty ones rather than embarking on procuring new ones.
According to him that will ensure the availability of functional ambulances in all districts that could be readily accessible to address pressing maternal and child health issues and ultimately reduce infant as well as maternal deaths.
It is indeed worthy of note that his passion to meaningfully contribute in enhancing the health sector in the district with an objective to save residents from preventable deaths is innate had been evident even prior to recently championing such an advocacy in Parliament.
His demonstration of concern and his decisive intervention played a pivotal role in saving the life of a pregnant woman of Mokebie-Loko chiefdom in Moyamba district. In the lamentable incident, due to delay in accessing a Government health facility ambulance, the pregnant woman lost her baby as a result of prolonged labour.
Upon learning of the dire situation, Mansaray facilitated the availability of an ambulance from a private hospital that swiftly transported the woman to another suitable health facility in the district. His timely intervention resulted in making it possible for the mother to receive specialized medical attention and she is currently showing signs of recovery.
Family members of the woman expressed profound gratitude to the Member of Parliament for the life-saving gesture. “We do sincerely appreciate your timely intervention and for that we are indeed grateful,” one of the members, on behalf of the family, registered gratitude.
During his Parliamentary contribution, Hon. Alpha Ben Mansaray, also drew attention to the deplorable conditions of service for health workers nationwide emphasizing how motivation for healthcare professionals is paramount for their retention and in ensuring qualitative healthcare delivery.
He implored the Government to consider the importance of health workers, urging for an improvement in their conditions of service saying doctors and nurses to the least-ranked personnel must be fairly compensated.
Hon. Alpha Ben Mansaray maintained that health workers often spend a substantial portion of their meager salaries on daily transportation stressing how such a dire situation has forced some health workers to seek employment in private health facilities that has resulted in the dearth of healthcare professionals in Government hospitals.
He also called for improvement of healthcare facilities lamenting how Government health facilities need to be brought up to appreciable standards. According to him such a grim reality raises serious doubts about the desirability of admitting family members to such institutions.
In a remarkable stride geared towards sustaining a blood bank at the UMC Hospital in Rotifunk, Hon. Alpha Ben Mansaray launched the “Blood Donor Support Project”, a collaborative initiative between the hospital and the Member of Parliament that entails covering the screening costs for all blood donations at the hospital, along with providing refreshments for donors.
The estimated monthly expenses averaged around Le. 4,500,000, a responsibility the Honourable pledged to fulfill and inn an initial deposit, he presented Two Million Leones to the hospital to kick-start such a crucial support project.
Mansaray’s proactive approach to tackling healthcare challenges demonstrates his unwavering commitment to the well-being of his constituents. His actions have not only saved lives but also shed light on the dire need for sustainable healthcare solutions in Moyamba District and beyond.