Ibrahim, Fullah and Saidu have a dream. When you are young, passions and desires light you up leading the way ahead. Yet, dreams require perseverance, dedication and commitment. In Pujehun district, Sierra Leone, a dream come true can be life-changing.

Ibrahim, Fullah and Saidu are now working together at the PEN-Plus clinic for NCDs. The facility was opened last March with CUAMM support and it is dedicated to provide healthcare to people living with diabetes, hypertension and other non communicable diseases.

Silvia Professione also works at the clinic. She is a 30 years-old Italian resident in internal medicine who left her Univesity and hospital in September to live an experience of cooperation with CUAMM. Ibrahim, Fullah and Saidu are also the same age as Silvia, they are the Community Health Officer at the clinic.

«It is them who see the patients. By working shoulder to shoulder every singe day, we have built a deep and genuine relationship both professionally and personally» said Silvia.

Ibrahim is from the northern region of Makeni, he moved to Pujehun after graduating in Health Science in 2022. «I started as a volunteer at the general hospital. When the PEN-Plus clinic was inaugurated, I started coming here to see how it worked: I used to follow Dott. Giacomo Marro, the head of the clinic. I wanted to learn as much as I could. To be honest, back then my dream was to become a surgeon. Everything changed when I entered the clinic. Working on NCDs I figured out internal medicine was way more interesting for me, even more than surgery».

As a new vacancy for Community Health Officer at the clinic was published, Ibrahim applied. «I really enjoyed the first months of my work. I had the opportunity to work with numerous CUAMM doctors who held different training sessions as the one on the use of the electrocardiograph. Thanks to that training we are now able to diagnose a heart failure and intervene timely». Today Ibrahim dreams of becoming a doctor to then pursue a specialization in internal medicine. Working on NCDs which incidence is on the rise in Sierra Leone, is his goal in life.

As Bryma did, also Fullah arrived at Pujehun hospital as a volunteer at the paediatric ward. Although he dreams of becoming a cardiologist.

«A large number of patients at Pujheun hospital suffer from either heart diseases or hypertension and I would like to be able to help them, to help my own community».

Training local resources is key not only for Ibrahim and Fullah to accomplish their dream but also for the community to have access to quality health services. «Working with CUAMM I have the chance to pursue my dreams. We have learnt a lot since the beginning of the project and we are now qualified to intervene timely when needed». A year after the clinic was opened, health staff keep learning:

«We learn something new every day and we do hope we can be qualified doctor one day. This is our strongest desire» said Saidu who volunteered two years at the district hospital before becoming a member of CUAMM team.

The three of them, they all started their professional experience by volunteering at the hospital two years ago. They are CUAMM staff today: they see and treat over 170 patients suffering from either diabetes or hypertension who seek medical care at the clinic, every month.

«They are eager to learn. They do know very well that being qualified is key. To support them in the training activities, for them to become themselves trainers one day, is no doubt the best part of this experience that I am living» stated Silvia.

Doctors with Africa CUAMM is committed to promote education both in Italy and on field, within both health facilities and hospitals where Italian and local staff work side by side sharing ideas and experiences and learning by doing, together. This is the way we believe Ibrahim, Fullah and Saidu can make their dream come true and inspire other young Africans, every day.


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