In its quest to ensuring transparency, accountability and integrity in public service delivery, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Regional Office, Kono on 15th November, 2022, engaged medical staff and in-charges of various Community Health Centers (CHCs) in the Kono District. The engagement which attracted over one hundred Nurses and their Tutors, took place at the Maternal Child Health Training Hall in Koidu City.
In his statement on the purpose of the engagement, Senior Public Education Officer ACC, Sam P. Gogra noted that the meeting was informed by the Commission’s drive to reduce corruption in all spheres of society to the barest minimum. As such, the engagement is key and the Commission has been doing similar engagements with various institutions across the district to stimulate the people’s consciousness and awareness to resist, reject and report corruption.
‘’Customized and partnershipmeetingsare part of the ACC’s strategies in promoting integrity, transparency and accountability in service delivery in MDAs’’, Gogra averred whilst citing some unprofessional practices at the Health Centers that contravenes best practices.
He talked about bribery and other anomalies in the free health care delivery system and reminded the medics that they have an obligation to ensure that their conducts are appropriate and do not undermine the people’s trust. Mr. Gogra stressed that Government continues to spend huge amount on the health systems amidst the enormous health challenges chiefly influenced by alleged malpractices.
Gogra further mentioned various reported alleged corrupt practices like, illegal sale of Government drugs including counterfeit ones, receipt of kickbacks from suppliers, existence of ghost patients and nurses, absenteeism of staff, sale of government drugs at health facilities thus leaving the government drugs to expire, diversion of health facility resources, misappropriation and embezzlement of donor and public property, bribery, conflict of interest etc. He admonished them to desist from these ill-practices, adding that the penalty upon conviction for any of the aforementioned is a minimum of not less than five years prison term or a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand New Leones.
Concluding, Gogra informed them about the activities of the Commission, and also provided them with avenues to support the fight through reporting. He gave them the toll free lines of 077-985985 or 077-986986.
District Health Sister One (I), Sylvia Kobbie thanked the ACC for its proactive steps in the fight against corruption. She assured the Commission of her institution’s readiness to always address issues that will undermine the integrity and credibility of the DHMT in Kono.