New Maternity Ward
In close consultation with a group of local women, who held three days of prayer and fasting at the new Health Centre in Brama, Sierra Leone, Magnus learned of their conviction that a maternity and ante-natal ward should be included in the Centre, given that paediatrics and maternity care are so closely linked.
With almost immediate response, Magnus has breathed life into this God-given initiative!
Foundations have been dug out and, using bricks that were left over from building the security wall, work has already started on the construction a new maternity unit, which will be positioned at the rear of the main Health Centre.
During November, Magnus and the Health Centre committee have also been interviewing candidates who've applied to work at the Health Centre. They have offered positions to two experienced nurses and are awaiting their response.
Currently, the Health Centre cannot afford to employ a doctor, and the intention is to start out with a Community Health Officer, which is common practice in Sierra Leone.
The plan is to officially dedicate and open the Health Centre on Friday 9 December.
On completion, the Health Centre and patient wards will be able to serve communities from 35 villages in the local vicinity. Trained staff will work in the clinic and also support communities in the villages, helping them to improve general hygiene and implementing vaccination programmes. They will also be able to provide post-natal health care for mothers and their babies.
Health facts in Sierra Leone
- The child and infant mortality rate in England and Wales in 2018 was 3.8 per 1,000. In Sierra Leone it was 78 per 1,000.
- Between January and March 2020 in Freetown alone there were 581 maternal deaths.
- Maternal deaths account for 36% of all deaths amongst women aged 15 - 49 years.
- Sierra Leone is the most dangerous place in the world to be pregnant.
- There are only 245 doctors in Sierra Leone serving 7 million people.
- 1 in 17 women won’t survive pregnancy or delivery.
- 60% of population live below the poverty line.
- 1 in 3 people do not have access to clean water.
- 3 in 5 people live in rural areas.
- MOST deaths could be prevented!
The majority of maternal and infant mortality in Sierra Leone is caused mainly by birth asphyxia, prematurity, sepsis and congenital deformity, which can be prevented.
A pregnant mother-to-be living in a rural setting cannot easily access medical help. Most often there will be an elderly woman in the vicinity to 'assist' with the birth. These untrained women have been identified by the Sierra Leone Government as the primary reason for the country's maternal deaths. This type of support is now illegal, but often when problems occur it is too late to travel to a health facility and usually there is no money for transport or health care.
Funds still needed
Whilst we are delighted to be able to complete the Health Centre's main construction with utilities, and provide necessary medical equipment, further financial support will still be needed, particularly during the first few months of operation, until the centre is established and running itself. The centre will be invaluable to the local communities, helping to save the lives of children, babies and pregnant mothers.
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Sort code: 20-16-08, Account number: 30799076, Account name: Sierra Leone Mission
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Sierra Leone Mission. Postal address: Janet Foord, 2 Cheyne Close, Church Milton, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SQ