In January, members of the Kambia Appeal visited Sierra Leone to undertake a comprehensive needs assessment to plan our activity in Kambia for the next three years. James Dowling, Richard Kerr-Wilson and Shona Lockyer were joined by Terry Smith (Kambia Appeal Treasurer), Jenny Hill (Gloucestershire NHS Project Manager), Adrienne Quintana and Peter Clark (Public Health Experts) for seven days of discussions and workshops with our partners, the Kambia District Management Health Team.
Following a priority needs assessment exercise run by Jenny Hill, a list of possible new initiatives was drawn up for the Appeal to support. A Memorandum of Understanding was agreed and signed between the Appeal and the DHMT. Later in the week this document was also signed at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Freetown by the National Medical Director. This now gives us a plan of action for the next few years, which includes:
- Training for maternal and child health staff
- Scholarships to train new nurses and midwives
- Local community health promotion
- Purchase of an motorboat ambulance for the riverine communities
- Running costs for motorbike ambulances at a number of health centres
- A blood donation facility at the Kambia Hospital
- Purchase of an operating theatre light
- Delivery beds for the hospital and health centres
If you would like to make a donation to support these new projects, please visit our online donations page.
Monitoring and Evaluation of the IHLFS Training programme
During the week, Adrienne Quintana led the monitoring and evaluation data-collection for our existing IHLFS training programme. Having now completed the first two years of this three-year project, it was necessary to review the outcomes of our training courses for maternal health staff at the hospital and at health centres in the district.
Adrienne’s initial findings suggest that since the delivery of free healthcare by the Sierra Leone government for pregnant women and lactating mothers maternal deaths in Kambia District have almost halved. With more mothers now seeking free healthcare and being referred for obstetric care at the hospital, our training of Kambia maternity staff is vital for improving the quality of care. Adrienne also visited health centres to check that delivery kits and vacuum extraction kits donated as part of the project were being used and maintained. We will publish Adrienne’s full M&E report here in the next few months
DELIVERY OF INTERNATIONAL HEALTH PARTNERS CONSIGNMENT OF DRUGS
During the visit we were also able to deliver the latest consignment of International Health Partners drugs to the Kambia District Pharmacy. IHP is a charity dedicated to improving access to health care and medicines in the developing world. For a donation of £300, IHP provided us with £3,000 worth of essential drugs which will be given free to patients at the Kambia Hospital and at the health centres in the district. We presented the consignment first to the Kambia District Council to register our donation to the district, and then handed the supplies over to Dr Tom Sesay, Kambia District Medical Officer and Augustin Brima, the District Pharmacist. Later in the week we visited Mile 14, one of the Health Centres in Kambia that received a previous supply of drugs from an IHP consignment. The CHO in charge showed us the IHP drugs in her store and told many stories of positive health outcomes from the use of the free IHP medicines at her centre.
Visit the International Health Partners website for further information about medical aid to developing countries.