By Joseph S. Margai
Newly appointed Minister of Health and Sanitation, who has also gone through parliamentary approval, Dr. Austin Demby, is set to improve the health sector in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Demby was a top US Government official for over 20 years.
He resigned his position to return home and bring his expertise to help his Sierra Leonean people to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Austin Demby, who is knowledgeable and experienced in conceptualizing, designing, and implementing complex, high-impact, and effective national programs especially in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Viral Hemorrhagic fever viruses, will stop at nothing that would undermine the improvement of the health sector in Sierra Leone.
As Acting Director, Office of Global Health at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he developed a strategy for establishing new offices in 12 countries in Africa over an overtly aggressive timeline, while concurrently, pursuing a strategy for recruitment and deployment of key staff in those countries.
Dr. Demby has taken over Sierra Leone’s health ministry at a time when the health sector is faced with a huge challenge in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as a man, who has over 30 years of experience working in the health sector, this challenge is one he would surely surmount.
He is bringing into the country wealth of experience from the United States and overwhelmingly, Sierra Leone’s Members of Parliament (MPs) recently approved him, having been appointed by President Julius Maada Bio in January this year.
Dr. Demby, who is an epidemiologist and virologist, has always contributed to the development of Sierra Leone’s health sector, thereby showing his love and patriotism for the country he’s proud to call home.
He played a strategic role in attracting the United States government’s response to the fight against the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.
He conducted a rapid technical assessment of the Ebola situation in Sierra Leone from the U.S. government.
Dr. Demby’s human relationship is incontestable.
Doctors and nurses in Sierra Leone including every worker in the health sector, could now breathe a sigh of relief, as the new Minister of Health will have an open-door policy in addressing their concerns, thereby improving the health sector.