This story involves two Ministries- Health and Education. Both are central to H.E President Bio’s HCD agenda, which also includes Agriculture and food security.
4 years from the day of the election that brought him to power, President Bio was out in the field today engaging people about their needs and delivering their most needed services.
Sierra Leone does not have enough health facilities or labs for appropriate diagnosis even in urban areas and particularly in rural areas. So, what does the President do? He acquires and launches four fully equipped and staffed mobile health clinics to bring quality healthcare and labs to our people in rural communities through MoHS and a generous gift of the Chinese Gov’t.
Our special needs students in education have been largely underserved and under-resourced for years until our intense focus on them through Radical Inclusion. So, what does the President do? He launches 5 (+1) buses for special needs institutions (Blind school Freetown, Deaf school Freetown, Blind school Bombali, Blind School Koidu, Blind School Kabala) in urban and rural areas. The +1 is donated by UNICEF, and it will go to the special needs institution in Bo.
Without good healthcare, there’s no education. Without good education, there’s no healthcare. This is why both MBSSE and MoHS are closely working to adopt and continue the implementation of the School Health policy among other transformational projects.
The President could have chosen to launch today’s national program in Freetown at State House, but he chose York Village in Western Rural (where no sitting President has ever visited as was said by the Headman) because we believe in Inclusive Development.
As if that was not enough, the school children and the community asked for a school bus to serve Western Rural. On the spot, the President promised them one. We will ensure to deliver on his promise immediately. This means all the children in Tokeh, York, Big Water, Black Johnson, John Obey, etc. will soon get transportation to take them safely to school and home.
Today was such a beautiful day because at the heart of it, we were all collaborating to deliver services to those who needed it the most- the poor and the rural. In all of that, the President spoke about Radical Inclusion as a key policy that drives many of our activities targeting the poor, the rural, special needs, and girls.
Finally, Dr Austin Demby is such a kind, humble, and visionary leader. I am blessed to have him as a colleague, and I continue to learn from his generosity in leadership. And Hon Nabeela Tunis is just a gem. Within a few months of being Minister of the Western Region, she’s done more for Western Rural than plenty. She didn’t tell me, the community leaders did in their speeches and testimonies.
How can I not believe that #PaopaSaloneMusBetteh!