History was made past Friday as residents and well-wishers of Waterloo saw the first ultra-modern hospital opened at Campbell Town, Old Main Moto Road Waterloo.
The opening which was graced by the Minister of Lands, Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council, ADRA representative among others described the Waterloo Rural Community Hospital (WRCH) as a modern hospital that can serve the community and beyond well.
The Chairman of the event, Michael D. Jusu said the concept was single handedly funded and completed by Dr. Tucker who worked so hard in the United States of America but thought of giving back to his country by boosting her health system.
Guest Speaker for the opening ceremony Prof. Thomas B. R Yormah said the popular saying “Health is Wealth”, has ceased to be an empty cliché. The fundamental reality/truth embedded in this phrase has increasingly donned on the conscience of the world as is reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as Goals No. 3.
He continued to say the SDG Goal 3 is dubbed “Good Health and Well-being”. This global declaration emphasizes the fact that to achieve this overall health goal we must achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and access to Quality health.
“This means that effective health delivery programmes must be inclusive and must cater for the young, the aged, the middle aged, females and males, the poor and the rich, literate as well as the non-literates; NO ONE MUST BE LEFT BEHIND, is the clarion call. The key rationale for this is that ensuring healthily lives and promoting well-being is crucial for building prosperous and resilient societies.”
He pointed out that the nexus between robust health and economic and social development is rather glaring. When the cost to the economy of poor health related absenteeism from work and/or work performed at below – par status is added to the cost of treating diseases to keep a healthy nation, the result will be monumental and alarming.
“The services provided by this hospital are borne out of the foregoing and more other considerations. I understand that the healthcare delivery focus of this hospital is, in addition to being inclusive, non-communicable diseases. Not being a medical expert, I would rather not dabble in this area – as I believe more competent persons would be doing that soon in the programme.”
Health Care Sierra Leone representative, Dr. Soccoh Kabbia said they are grateful for the gesture Dr. Tucker gave to the community as he is a man of his words.
He spoke about the significance of the hospital especially the non-communicable disease they were going to handle.
“These are diseases that are common but neglected for so long such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and diabetics among others.”
Hon. Constituency 108 honorable Mohamed Said Kanu said their constituency was very happy for the development and they hoped it will bring lot of health improvement.
The honourable promised to give the hospital management all the support they need and also called on the community to embrace the hospital by taking care of it.
“This hospital will be very expensive to operate without electricity. If they continue to use generator it will be expensive for them. Please let the Land’s Minister take this message to President Bio for such support.”
Waterloo Headman, Ibrahim Kamara said this is what they can be proud of as community by pointing finger on such project. He also emphasized that electricity has a key role to play in that hospital and the community.
He also called on the management to make the hospital affordable as access to the hospital is the best for all.
Western Area Rural District Council Joseph Holland Cole described Waterloo as one of the most deprived community in Sierra Leone when it comes to health.
He said most of the place they called hospital are clinics only ADRA is doing operation and operate as hospital.
“We are happy and ready to give you our support. It is not about Waterloo but the entire country.”
In his statement, the Chief Executive Officer of Waterloo Rural Community Hospital, Dr. Gladstone Tucker said health care is a right based on equity respect, dignity and compassion of the patient.
He emphasized that at Waterloo Rural Community Hospital every patient come first at every level and it should be treated with compassion.
“Anybody that violates that will face the exit door”.
On the side of affordability, Dr. Tucker said they will do their best but however it takes money to run the service.
He said about $20,000 (Twenty thousand dollars) was used for the construction.
Mark you, Dr. Tucker left Sierra Leone with one suitcase and subsequently used the opportunity that the USA offered to work hard to transform his life to the admirable station it is today. As a stranger to America, that is what I understand as USA being the “Land of Opportunity”.
Dr. Gladstone Tucker is a Sherbro and a Christian. This is the genesis of his benevolence – and his drive to give service to his country within the realm of his profession. Dr. Tucker could have chosen to invest his money and establish this hospital at his hometown of Luawa Jong in the Bonthe District or his wife’s hometown of Taiama in the Moyamba District. Rather he has chosen to serve Sierra Leoneans of multiple ethnicities residing mainly in the rural communities in the Western Area of this country.
Dr. Tucker in his drive to pursue his passion to provide affordable health care to our people.
Mrs. Mary Belmoh spoke about the root of the Jusu and Tucker families.
She encouraged them to continue to spread love as that was what Grandpa Jusu left for them. The unveiling was done by the Jusu and Tucker families alongside the Minister of Lands