Over 2020 and 2021 The Kambia Appeal has continued to concentrate on projects that can be delivered locally in Kambia without the need for input from the UK in terms of manpower. This decision has been justified even more since the arrival of Covid and the worldwide restrictions on travel.
To this end we are continuing with our scholarship programme, and we are delighted that our two community midwives, Mariatu Kamara and Kadiatu Kargbo, have successfully completed their training. Mariatu is now working at the under-fives clinic and Kadiatu is helping at the hospital. We have started two new candidates, Hassanatu Bangura and Adama Conteh, who are both also training to become community midwives and their training started in September 2020.
At the end of 2020 we were able to provide funds to undertake another round of MCHA mentoring in Kambia. We also submitted an application to DFID (now the FCDO) to fund a much larger MCHA mentoring programme, which would have secured this much needed training for at least three years, with 2-3 rounds a year, but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. The UK international aid budget is now much harder to access with the cut in aid spending from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income. THET, our long-term partners, had their entire Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) scheme cancelled, which came as a huge blow. Without any THET funding streams to apply to, it is unlikely we will be able to secure anything like the large grants we have had access to in previous years.
In February 2021 a fire ripped through the village of Yeliboyah, destroying over 80 homes on the island. In response to a request for assistance, we were able to provide emergency food supplies and other items to help the local community.
We were also able to assist the DHMT roll out of Coronavirus preparedness training. Using funds provided by The Kambia Appeal the DHMT were able to train border patrol guards, the Kambia police and key community health workers on the importance of hand hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing We were also able to provide funds for the purchase of items to set up hand sanitising stations throughout the district.
We were delighted that Miles Wagstaff, Consultant Paediatrician and long term Kambia Appeal supporter has joined as a Trustee. Miles has led many teaching trips to Kambia on our behalf over the years.
Looking forward we hope to continue with our scholarship programme and seek support from local trusts and foundations to fund our MCHA mentoring programme.