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 The Public Education Unit of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Southern Region Office, on Thursday 23rd March 2023, engaged health workers of the Bo Children’s Hospital in an honest conversation to bring to their attention some of the ill-practices that would undermine the health outcomes. The sensitization meeting took place at the hospital’s Conference Room, Geoma Layout, Bo-Taiama Highway, Bo District.

In his statement, ACC’s Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar acknowledged the enduring sacrifice of some health workers whose dedication to serve humanity is unmatched. Mr. Sittar underscored the relevance of health workers and pleaded with them not to compromise the ethics of their profession for self-seeking motives. Manager Sittar admonished health practitioners not to be the corrupt because in doing so, one undermines public trust and confidence. 

He firmly stated that corruption has adversely affected efficient service delivery in public institutions, adding that, it flourishes in an environment where weak systems exist. Mr. Sittar affirmed ACC's commitment to working with them to strengthen or build an effective healthcare system. The ACC Manager also drew their attention to the amendments that have been made to some sections in the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 in 2019, noting, the amendment which provides for stiffer fines and sentences, and restitution of funds misappropriated. He advised the health workers to perform their duties within the remit of the law and stay clear of any illegal acts that will trigger ACC investigation. 

Speaking at the meeting, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh said that despite the interventions of the Government and its development partners to improve on the health outcomes, pervasive unethical practices remain a huge challenge. Saccoh stated that corruption weakens health systems, exacerbates inequalities, and costs lives. He furthered that transparency and accountability efforts are deliberately aimed at considerably stamping out corruption and bribery in all their forms. Saccoh highlighted that lack of integrity, laziness, unhealthy competition, breach of procedures, abuse of discretionary authority, greed, lack of integrity and weak or absence of proper management and regulatory systems are the drivers for the solicitation of bribes and involvement in corruption. He emphasized that prudent financial management, enforcement of disciplinary code impartially, protection of whistleblowers, proper handling of public and donor resources and a robust supervision of staff are effective anti-corruption measures required to address systems weaknesses in institutions.

Public Education Officer ACC, Mohamed A. Kabba said the Commission deemed it necessary to interact with staff of the Bo Children’s Hospital to convey anti-corruption messages due to the invaluable services the Hospital provides to vulnerable groups. Mr. Kabba recognized that fighting corruption should not be seen as the business of the ACC alone, but rather as the civic responsibility of all citizens. He therefore encouraged them to take pride in doing the correct thing and develop the courage to expose the corrupt. 

The Board Chairman, Bo Children’s Hospital, Dr. Wusu Sannoh, commended the Commission for its intervention to help shape the attitudes and thoughts of the hospital staff. Dr. Sannoh also said the hospital is a community facility, providing health care to all categories of patients, assuring the ACC of their unflinching support in combating graft for the good of all. He further called on all health workers to take into good faith, and put into practice the anti-corruption messages conveyed at the engagement.