Sierra Leone has a chronic shortage of qualified medical staff working within the health services, To address this, The Kambia Appeal ran a scholarship programme for a number of years to enable health sector staff from Kambia District to have the opportunity to train for higher qualifications within Sierra Leone on the understanding that they return to the district once qualified.

CHO Mohamed Kamara with our nurse scholars

Our first scholarship programme, which started in 2006, supported the training of new Community Health Officers (CHOs) at N’Jallah University in Bo in Sierra Leone. In exchange for bursaries covering tuition fees, accommodation and living allowances, scholars agreed to work for the health services in Kambia for a minimum of three years once qualified. Via this programme we have funded 12 new CHOs for Kambia.

CHOs act as paramedics in charge of rural health clinics and carry out life-saving medical interventions and basic surgery. More skilled than trained nurses, CHOs are doctors in all but name. As well as providing clinical care for the local populations, CHOs are responsible for training health centre staff, including auxiliary midwives and health volunteers in the area, such as Traditional Birth Attendants. Since 2010, we have also been providing refresher training and support to our new CHOs as part of our IHLFS project with help from UK volunteer training staff from Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Our current scholarship programme supports State Enrolled Community Health Nurses. We are funding 10 trainee SECHNs on their three-year course at university in Makeni, north of Kambia District.

It costs The Kambia Appeal around £2,000 to support one student through the three-year course.

We would like to thank the following for their recent financial support of the Cheltenham Scholarship Programme:

The Martin Smith Foundation
The Kambia Appeal Golf Days players and participants
Individual anonymous donors, including Kambia Appeal long-term voliunteers

Please make a donation below to support our scholarship programme: