Ministry of Health Speaks on Energy Concerns at PCMH

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By Foday Moriba Conteh

In response to concerns raised by Dr. Jeredine George, a Specialist Obstetrician Gynaecologist at Princess Christian Maternal Hospital (PCMH), in her Facebook post, with regards the dire circumstances faced by medical professionals and patients alike during a recent power outage at the national OBGYN hospital, the Ministry of Health (MoH), through the Office of Minister has reacted in a Press Release dated 24th April, 2024.

Responding to the concerns, the Ministry of Health acknowledges the ongoing electricity challenges affecting hospitals nationwide and recognizes their impact on health service delivery. It furthered that it has embarked on a transformative initiative to address those challenges by transitioning to reliable, environmentally friendly and efficient solar power alternatives.

According to the release, traditionally, hospitals have relied on diesel-powered generators during electricity shortages, which not only incur high operational costs but also strain hospital budgets, accounting for over 20% of expenditure.

The Ministry stated that to mitigate such, in collaboration with partners, it has worked diligently over the past year to install solar power plants in major Government hospitals across the country.

It continued how currently, solar power plants have been successfully installed in six major Government hospitals, with plans to install an additional eleven by the end of the year.

According to the Ministry, 300 peripheral health units are slated to receive solar installations by the end of 2024 revealing how in partnership with stakeholders, it provided a 300KW solar solution at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) and Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH) in December 2023, providing supplemental energy solutions.

The release also disclosed that while the solar plant alone cannot exclusively power both hospitals at 1.3MW, it serves as a crucial backup during power outages, particularly for life-saving emergencies.

To enhance the efficiency of these installations, the MoH pointed out how it is implementing several measures which include urgent discussions with the Ministry of Energy to prioritize energy supply to major Government hospitals by installing dedicated power lines, robust resource mobilization and advocacy for the completion of solar power plant installations in all public health facilities and implementation of operational mechanisms to ensure appropriate use of solar power for quality health service delivery.

For PCMH, the MoH said it has facilitated engagements between solar experts and hospital leadership to optimize solar power usage during outages additionally maintaining that backup generators and fuel supplies are being ensured for uninterrupted service.

Regarding leadership challenges at PCMH, the Health Ministry said measures have been initiated to address them, including the official appointment of Dr. Amadu Sesay as Medical Superintendent, recognizing his commendable service.

It also stated that Dr. George is a Medical Resident in Training and she was offered the Medical Superintendent role but she declined in order to focus on her studies.

The Ministry categorically stated that because there was a vacuum due to the lack of a substantive Medical Superintendent at the hospital, Dr. Amadu Sesay was selected about a month ago to take on the Management role as Medical Superintendent. It revealed how Dr. Jeredine George was never demoted or reassigned but rather a vacancy was filled.

The MoH extended heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected by recent challenges and expressed gratitude to all health workers for their unwavering dedication saying despite challenges, the MoH is reaffirming its commitment to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure quality healthcare for all Sierra Leoneans.



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