Hon. Margaret Feimata Johnson representing the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Kailahun District has in her address on the Floor of the Sixth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone, in submitting a response to the motion of thanksgiving to President Julius Maada Bio’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the occasion of the opening of the sixth Parliament espoused the need for an upgraded health facility for lawmakers.
She prefaced her statement with a commendation for President Bio’s big five agenda, with a central focus on human capital development serving as a blueprint to attain a self-sufficient nation.
"If we are able and willing to support the five big game changers in the President’s manifesto, we will have a nation that is self-sufficient in the future," Hon. Johnson said.
With a background in health, she requested the government's attention on mental health and providing facilities to aid the current drug prevalence in the country. She noted that the current available general facilities are ill equipped to cater for these specialized needs, reminding that the services provided to all citizens, including members of parliament, are less than desirable due to overflowing capacities.
She referenced the Parliamentary situation of inadequate health services available in the Parliamentary clinic and lamented the possibilities on the off chance that an emergency was to arise. She enquired after the personnel, equipment of medications given their contribution in annual budget approval.
"I have heard my honorable colleagues speak about health, a core element that is key to human capital development. I have a background in health, mental health-trained, and psychotherapy training. Coming now to parliament I feel that there are things that we are lacking here that we need. We have staff and Members of Parliament, but Mr. Speaker and honorable members, it is appalling that our health facility here is, I wouldn’t say it is not existing but it is lacking a lot of facilities and it would be sad for us to be highlighting health and all the resources and input in percentage that we are having but we haven’t thought about our parliament health facility and it is needed. It is seriously needed because we are all here, we are healthy looking, but there are people with physical health conditions and also probably psychological conditions that nobody is aware of. May God forbid if we have an incident or a crisis, how many of us here can say we are CPR trained or First Aid trainers, do we even have an allocated person for us to say we can call if something happens? I have heard about the health facility but I haven’t seen it, it is not fully functional, so Mr. Speaker honorable members, that is what I want His Excellency to be aware of, that we as Members of Parliament are asking for our facility to be remembered in the five big game changer plans of human capital development and the revamping of health facilities."
Hon. Johnson also shed light on the need for fulfillment of promises regarding the provision of health facilities accessible at every three mile radius and for every pupil. This she expanded on as deserving the backing of mental health facilities to prompt the handling of mental disabilities that current laws make many vulnerable and prone to, including Parliamentarians.
"We had civil war and Ebola, people have lost their lives, have lost family members and are traumatized and sometimes people use drugs to self-medicate, so while we are looking at the legal framework to stop the drugs coming in, I want to ask and appeal to this Well that we look at the rehabilitation areas and active campaign in terms of policies for the drug use, people who are suffering from it. You cannot just tell someone to stop drugs, when addiction is a condition and it is a problem, there are various ways people can be rehabilitated, psychologically we need to be able to find a way to help these people who are going through this," Hon. Johnson emphasized.
Hon. Johnson is a parliamentary freshman and has a twenty years career in health care having bagged a degree in nursing mental health and pursuing her master’s degree in
She has been actively involved in holding senior positions in the healthcare field, building up teams and providing services to served and underserved communities at home and abroad for the improvement of the well-being of humanity. She is a specialist in maternity and perinatal mental health services targeting pregnant women with mental health issues before or after childbearing.
Hon. Johnson is revered for being the only Krio descendant to be representing a district that is not indigenous to the Krio-speaking ethnic group and she has been seen by people like Dr. Sylvia Blyden, a leftwing politician and publisher of Awareness Times as a symbol of national unity and inclusion in national politics.