First Lady Madam Fatima Maada Bio on Friday 18th December turned the sod for the construction of a 100-bed pediatric hospital at the Wilberforce Military Barracks housing the 34 Military Hospital. This is in fulfilment of the commitment made by the First Lady to give women and children access to quality medical facilities.
The construction project is being funded by Kings Productions on the request of the first lady as part of their corporate social responsibilities to the people of Sierra Leone.
Giving a background to the project, Chief of Staff in the office of the First Lady said it was in fulfilment of a promise made by the First Lady to sometime back to uplift the 34 Hospital for more access to quality medical facilities.
Sheik Salim Feika said the first lady was looking for other corporate bodies to come on board to develop the nation, noting that the office of the First Lady was always open for a strategic partnership with interested persons and institutions that are ready to transform the country.
Kings Productions CEO, Khalil Hidjazi explained that they were approached by the First Lady on the idea and they agreed to sponsor the 100-bed hospital construction.
“We had no hesitation to get to work because at Kings Production, we believe that military personnel have sacrificed their lives to keep citizens safe, hence deserve the best of health care services and befitting structures,” he noted, saying the hospital will comprise main wards, doctor’s office, laboratory and pharmacy among others.
Representing the Minister of Health and Sanitation was his deputy, Dr Amara Jambai who expressed their profound delight and appreciation for the intervention of the first lady. He said as a ministry, they welcomed such initiatives as whatever one does in strengthening the health sector in the country goes a long way in saving lives. He referred to the First Lady as an exemplary figure that Sierra Leone will forever remember her developmental strides.
The Minister of Defense Brig. Rtd. Kelli Conteh said the addition will help immensely in the treatment of children at the hospital. He said as referral hospitals for children become overcrowded by the day, the venture by the first lady will cushion the burden of the health care system and improve on the health status of children in the country.
In a brief statement, the Chief Minister, Professor David Francis thanked Madam Bio in supporting the government to develop the country.
“This hospital is at the heart of the President’s flagship program of Human Capital Development,” he said, noting that he appreciates the first lady’s resilience in working with the Private Sector to foster development. He took the opportunity to appeal to the First Lady to mobilize the Private Sector to replicate in all 16 districts in the country.
Madam Fatima Maada Bio thanked the leadership of the 34 Military Hospital for always welcoming her since 2005 and for embracing the agenda of the President, as the relationship has since been from better to best, more so when she now considers them as her in-laws.
She said she had a special bond with the hospital and that in the New Year she will be there again to turn the sod for a Center of Excellence structure, which will host rape victims and survivors as safe homes. She disclosed that Sierra Leone, through her office has been given 50 slots for doctors and nurses to study on how to treat diabetic patients by Merck Foundation.
Madam First Lady once again appealed to the Private Sector business owners to adopt at least one project as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Credit: Strategic Communication Division of The Office of First Lady