Dr. Austin Demby, the Minister of Health, officially commenced the construction of a cutting-edge Faculty of Basic Medical Science building at Jui Grafton in the Western Rural District of Freetown.

This $3.5 million project, funded collaboratively by the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and its partners, aims to address the pressing need for more medical professionals in the country.

Dr. Demby underscored the critical shortage of doctors, pointing out that the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) currently produces fewer than fifty doctors annually—an output that is far from sufficient to meet Sierra Leone’s healthcare challenges. The rising number of medical students over the past two years has exacerbated the shortage of adequate classroom space, necessitating the construction of new facilities.

“For the 2023 academic year, over six hundred first-year students are enrolled, yet they lack the appropriate environment and classrooms for their lectures,” Dr. Demby noted. This situation prompted the government and its partners to secure funding for the new medical science faculty building.

The upcoming facility will be equipped with wet labs, dry labs, an e-platform, and lecture rooms. The e-platform will enable lecturers based in Freetown to deliver lectures globally, enhancing the reach and quality of education. The project, with input from COMAHS on the design, is slated for completion within twelve to eighteen months.

Dr. Demby emphasized that the contract for the building’s construction was awarded through an open competitive tender process, ensuring transparency and quality. The close collaboration with COMAHS will facilitate thorough supervision and timely delivery of the project.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Mustapha Kabba, who also serves as the project manager, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, highlighting its importance and timeliness in advancing Sierra Leone’s medical profession. Upon completion, the new faculty building is expected to significantly impact the country’s healthcare system by increasing the number of trained doctors, thereby improving overall medical care.