At the Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni, Sierra Leone, we are training staff for the country’s first reconstructive surgery unit. It’s a long and complex project, but it’s one that will have a lasting effect for the nation and its people, opening up access to healthcare and bringing hope to those who previously had none. Life expectancy in Sierra Leone is the poorest in the world.
For a Population of over 6 million there are less than 200 physicians and only ten surgeons. Many doctors and health workers were lost to the Ebola epidemic. Sierra Leone currently has:
- zero Reconstructive Surgeons – ReSurge Africa are currently supporting the post-graduate training of Sierra Leone’s first two Reconstructive Surgeons, Dr Eric Wongo and Dr Abdulai Jalloh
- only 4 Fully trained doctor anaesthetist – Trainee anaesthetist Dr Mohamed Kargbo is about to enter his 2nd year of 3 year training at Korle-Bu teaching hospital, Ghana.
- In addition to broad training for the nursing cohort at Holy spirit Hospital, ReSurge Africa has put four nurses through the further three -year nursing degree which has qualified them as sought after state registered nurses. These nurses will form the backbone of care in the reconstructive surgery unit and are being supported through specialist theatre and burns placements in Ghana. Four more nurses are being identified for SRN training and will take up places at the beginning of 2019
- Physiotherapy is vital to the effective training of a physiotherapist. Further essential skills in pharmacy and community health will be augmented when ReSurge supported trainees qualify in 2019.
In the wake of the 2014/15 Ebola crisis and in Partnership with BSSH (British Society for Surgeons of the Hand), surgical training visits to the Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni have resumed. After much work and resources had been put into the Physiotherapy service, which had become self-sustaining, it was very sad when an electrical fire broke out in 2016 and destroyed the building housing the unit, and all of the equipment. Work has begun on the rebuilding of the structure and a UK Physiotherapy volunteer, Gaelle Smith has just begun a 6 month placement to lead this vital project and with the help of Physiotherapy trainee Balansama Janneh and Resurge funded clinical co-ordinator Dickya Labicaine, Gaelle will put in place a 5 year plan for the unit.
In 2016 ReSurge Africa built a new sterile services unit, theatre store and resource centre at the Holy Spirit aided by funding awarded to us from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission (JOA). This unit is serving the hospital with much needed sanitary laundry facilities and will benefit the hospital community as a whole. We were also able to send out a 40ft container of laundry machinery, theatre equipment, medical supplies, donated computers and classroom furniture. A project is underway at present to collect donated medical textbooks and ship them to Sierra Leone for the resource centre library.
If you would like to add your support to our work in Sierra Leone then please click on the donations button. Your sponsorship is so important in helping us achieve our primary focus. Hope through Training.