Strengthening Sierra Leonean National Health Care Capacity through Diaspora-Led Engagement Medical Mission Program
Medical Mission – November 1-14, 2016
Dr. Georges Bwelle, a visceral surgeon from Cameroon, who recently won CNN’s top 10 Heroes award and founder of Association des Competences pour Une Vie Meilleure (ASCOVIME), has volunteered his team led by himself and in partnership with Volunteer Sierra Leonean diaspora to help meet the health needs in rural Sierra Leone. The goal of this mission is to improve access and delivery of quality medical care for vulnerable populations in Sierra Leone, while strengthening the Africa to Africa exchange.
The partnership with the Cameroonians plays a major role given their long term historical and successful engagement between the diaspora and their home countries both in investment and ongoing successful volunteer medical missions and transfer of skills and knowledge. It also brings a unique opportunity of engaging regional partnerships and alliances for Sierra Leone. The project will also engage the diaspora, promote volunteerism, encourage potential diaspora investments toward self-reliance, and increase capacity in their countries of origin.
Project Activities and Partners
During the mission, the following activities are planned:
- Primary healthcare services, including preventive and diagnostic screenings and treatment
- Vital health screening and care
- Pediatric consultations
- Provision of medicines and medical supplies (as per host country’s Ministry of Health approved list of essential medicines) to the population based on diagnosed needs
- Training to local health personnel, paramedical and medicals students on primary health care, medical supply chain management, surgical and emergency health care
- Outreach and education on:
- Prostate, cervical, and breast cancer screening and early detection
- Hygiene promotion
- Proper nutrition and diabetes
- Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), Sierra Leone
- Bo Government Hospital
- Mercy Hospital
- Praise Foundation
- District Health Management Teams (DHMTs), Sierra Leone
- Njala University
- Community and chiefdom leaders
Objectives & Expected Outcomes
To strengthen the Sierra Leonean health care system through the deployment of experienced health care workers to train while providing hands on medical and surgical support in Sierra Leone
- Assess gaps in skills of health professionals at district-level health facilities.
- Increase number and capacity of skilled health care workers in Bo District
- Enhance health care workers’ technical knowledge through delivery of in-service training at Bo Government Hospital and Njala University.
- Approx. 120 of local health workers and final year medical students benefiting from free in-service training package
- Approx. 1,500 people benefiting from free triage and curative care at the primary and secondary health care level
- Approximately 180 free surgeries to be conducted