The directorate of mental health under the ministry of health and sanitation Madam Kadiatu Savage presenting the award to the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Hon. Mohamed Haji Kela

Social Workers Sierra Leone has recently awarded Hon. Mohamed Haji- Kela, the Pillar Lead of Psychosocial Support at National Covid-19 response Center (NACOVERC), who also doubles as the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare. 

The rational beyond the award was however not unconnected to his smart and dynamic leadership exhibited in the fight against the virulent Corona Virus, especially by involving trained and qualified Social Workers, who have mastered the Arts and Science of Counselling, Psychosocial First Aid, and Integration to champion the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The aforementioned is undoubtedly a good practice to recognize and emulate since Social Workers are integral in any emergencies as Hassan Koroma, the National Coordinator of Social Workers Sierra Leone once opined. 

Moreover, we are hopeful that with inclusivity in the fights against COVID-19, there is the proclivity for us to win the virus. And thus, the future for Social Work is hopeful to gain its National Recognition as a profession. 

Primarily, as the Government’s response to fight covid-19, when it started the pillar lead, was sensitive enough to recognized Social Workers’ roles and incorporated them through SWSL. 

Collaboratively, while the Nurses and Doctors are playing their roles in treating patients for COVID 19 and other related health issues, Social Workers are focus on restoring normalcy and Social functioning through Psychosocial support. Truly, Patients can only regain a normal life when medics is combined with psychosocial support. Thus, the aforesaid is a  global practice during health emergencies to address mental health issues that likely to surface when an emergency struck. 

Meanwhile, having received the surprising award, the Hon. Deputy Minister, acknowledged his boss, The Honorable Minister of Social Welfare, and by extension the Management Level at the NACOVERV.  In his words; “This is an award for my ministry, the NACOVERV and the Government of President Bio. Thank you Social Workers Sierra Leone- let’s continued the fight is still not won yet!”. 

Momentarily,  there is some level of coordination between mental health and psychosocial support that is run between the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. 

Both heads: the directorate of Mental Health under the Ministry of Health and the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, is providing quality leadership in the fight against the common enemy. 

Something to point at as progress is the attention that has been given to Mental Health by both Ministries. 

Conclusively, Social Workers do appreciate this level of platform and continue to call and encourage the Government of Sierra Leone to give Social Work the level of attention it deserves in this 21st Century.

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