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 – Sierra Leonean trainee anaesthetist Dr Mohamed Kargbo is in his final year of training at Korle-Bu teaching hospital, Ghana.
- In addition to broad training for the nursing cohort at Holy spirit Hospital, Resurge Africa has supported four nurses through the further three -year nursing degree which has qualified them as valued state registered nurses. These nurses will form the backbone of care in the reconstructive surgery unit and will undertake further specialist theatre and burns nursing training and clinical placements. Fatmata Jalloh is currently studying for a 2 year BSc in peri-operative nursing in Ghana.
- Physiotherapy is vital to the effective recovery of reconstructive surgery patients. Resurge is supporting a physiotherapy trainee through his 4 year BSc training in India. Bala is due to complete his degree and return to Sierra Leone in 2022.
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.
Sierra Leone has had its share of challenges, emerging from a brutal civil war, and then suffering the Ebola crisis.
Now, Covid-19 has impacted our important work, but we have been working hard to support our partners and trainees during this global pandemic. Courses and training have had to be postponed, so as we work with our partners to adapt our project to the ever changing situation, much of our focus has been on fundraising and the provision and sending of PPE to safely sustain Holy Spirit and its staff until our work on building reconstructive surgery and burns service can continue.
Whilst the classrooms are closed, our trainees have been continuing their studies online and continue to work towards their final exams.
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.