By Alfred Fornah

The Director, Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) Dr Kallay Musa Conteh has on Thursday 11th January 2018 received in audience a team of eight diaspora health care professionals led by the IOM Project Manager for the Diaspora health care project.

The Diaspora Medical Practitioners recently arrived in country to participate in the ongoing Diaspora Health Care Project dubbed as “Migration and Development in Africa (MIDA)”. The Project is funded by the Japanese Government and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) and Ministry of Health in Koinadugu District.

According to the Project Manager Akao Kunikazu the Medical practitioners are from UK, USA and Germany and they have been assigned to provide free health care services at Kabala Government Hospital and other health care centres in koinadugu District.

In his Welcome statement, the Director of ODA, Dr Kallay Musa Conteh said ODA was established in 2008 to harness diaspora resources towards national development. He noted that a lot of countries in Africa have established diaspora offices for the purpose of reversing brain drain and also for private sector development. Whilst explaining the contribution of the diaspora to the country, he emphasized that the health care workers are in country to fill critical gaps in the health sector.

He recalled that in 2017 ODA together with IOM and the Ministry of Health recruited some diaspora health care workers for the same project, and these workers he added provided exceptional free health care services to the people of koinadugu. “We are also expecting you to perform your assignment accordingly” he said.  According to him some areas in Koinadugu District have challenges with regards access to healthcare services, and it was based on that the District was selected to implement the project.

Elizabeth Conteh, a health care worker from the United Kingdom said even though they had some disappointments before, but she is impressed by the current work of ODA and IOM.

She said they are happy and willing to come and serve their country despite the stipends that would be provided to them.

Also, Habib Sesay, another diaspora health professional from UK expressed commitment to deliver his best to the project. “Over the years I have been planning to comeback home and give back to my country, and also I had the urge to come and provide healthcare services to the psychiatric Hospital’’  he stated.