Doctors with Africa CUAMM’s 2021 activities in Sierra Leone included providing support to the National Emergency Medical Service (NEMS), the first such service provided to the country’s health authorities in 2020. NEMS enabled the use of dedicated ambulances to transport both people affected by COVID-19 and COVID-19 swabs during the pandemic.
Although the pandemic led to a partial reduction in access to health services, including maternal care, Doctors with Africa CUAMM continued its support for Sierra Leone’s largest maternity hospital, located in Freetown, attending more than 6,200 deliveries, continuing to screen for gestational diabetes, and proceeding with high dependency unit (HDU) activities. Support was provided to the HDUs in the regional hospitals of Makeni, Bo and Pujehun, ensuring intensive care for patients in need of it and thereby improving the level of care provided.
CUAMM also continued its support for Bonthe and Pujehun, the country’s most remote health districts, providing training and assistance in the area of maternal and child health. In Bonthe we continued to incentivize the use of boats to transport pregnant women living in riverine communities, who would otherwise be unable to get to the hospital to deliver their babies.
Our work and technical assistance at the hospital in Pujehun continued, as did our promotion of the referral back system, which entails the use of vouchers to get the most fragile pediatric patients back to their villages as soon as they are discharged from the hospital, so as to facilitate their recovery.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CUAMM helped the district to implement a vaccination campaign, providing logistic support, ensuring the supply of protective equipment and consumables, and assisting with awareness-raising campaigns.
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.