In partnership with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health, in 2022 Doctors with Africa CUAMM continued its work to strengthen the public health system in four districts. This included providing support to the country’s only dedicated screening program for gestational diabetes in its urban (PCMH and Western Area Urban) and rural (Pujehun Maternity Hospital and Pujehun District) districts, to make more advanced health care available to any woman accessing the facilities. After implementing the National Emergency Medical Service (NEMS) to help strengthen emergency management capacity, CUAMM began rehabilitating the emergency room at Connaught (referral) Hospital. CUAMM’s continued support for Sierra Leone’s largest maternity hospital, in Freetown, including handling more than 7,800 deliveries and undertaking quality improvement and high dependency unit (HDU) activities to make it possible to ensure intensive care for critically ill patients, thereby also improving the level of care provided. In the Bombali District, our support to Makeni’s Holy Spirit Hospital continued with the aim of increasing the number of patients accessing the facility. CUAMM also continued to lend its support to the Bonthe and Pujehun health districts, the country’s most remote, providing training and maternal and child health assistance. In Bonthe, we supported the district through supervision and technical assistance, and also continued our support for boat transportation services for women living in riverine areas who would otherwise be unable to reach the hospital to deliver their babies. In the Pujehun District our work and technical assistance to the hospital continued, as did our promotion of the referral back system, which entails the use of vouchers to enable the most fragile pediatric patients to get back to their villages once they are discharged, thereby facilitating their recovery. Also in Pujehun District, CUAMM began to implement the three-year PEN Plus program, which focuses on the country’s rural areas and aims to provide integrated care services to those affected by chronic (noncommunicable) diseases. Finally, with a view to integrating key maternal and child nutrition activities into the continuum of care, CUAMM began a program in the Pujehun District to reduce the prevalence of every form of malnutrition through a multi-sectoral approach. During the pandemic, CUAMM also helped the district to implement its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, and in 2022 the Ministry of Health named Pujehun as the district with the best vaccination campaign implementation performance.
OUR HISTORY IN SIERRA LEONE
CUAMM begins working in Sierra Leone’s Pujehun District.
Sierra Leone is the country worst affected by the Ebola outbreak. CUAMM stays on in Pujehun, ensuring the presence of expatriate personnel and the continuity of essential services.
Support started up for hospital in Lunsar after it was forced to close during the Ebola outbreak.
“Mothers and Children First: The First 1,000 Days” program launched in Pujehun; support provided to PCMH in Freetown, the country’s largest maternity hospital.
Support begun to regional hospitals in Makeni and Bo and to district hospital in Bonthe. Inauguration of Sierra Leone’s first maternal intensive care unit at PCMH.
Launch of National Emergency Medical Service (NEMS).
NEMS figures: 80 operational ambulances and 28,792 “missions” carried out.
NEMS handed over to national health authorities. Three maternal intensive care units set up in Bo, Makeni and Pujehun.
Launch of the third phase of the “Mothers and Children First” program: “People and Skills”.