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Update from the Health Centre

The Health Centre in Sierra Leone was officially opened in December 2022. The building stands opposite The Connexion’s Bethesda Orphanage, and is named the Ralph O’Shea Memorial Medical Centre, in honour of Ralph’s friendship and support

Magnus Bendu now brings us an update of this life-changing project for our communities in Sierra Leone:

Since its official opening, the Health Centre has been undergoing the process of registration with state authorities, which is now well advanced. It is almost normal in Sierra Leone that registration of such facilities take approximately six to eighteen months. However, within the process, we are allowed to operate fully while they monitor and guide. Quite a few of the monitoring agencies have showed up and have all given the Health Centre a clean bill of health with the exception of concerns around sustainable power supply and sufficient number of staff to cover all required departments and units of a clinic/medical Health Centre.

It must be noted that solar was paid for and installed before the beginning of operations, but as all the diagnostic machines start working, it became clear that more wattage is required to ensure regular supply of electricity. In the area of staffing, the Health Centre at the moment cannot employ practitioners in all departments as the overwhelming majority of its patients are from very poor communities where patients cannot be charged for profit making when even cost recovery is a huge challenge. Thus, just basic consultation, laboratory, nursing (Paediatric, maternity and general), security and sanitary staff are being employed for now.

The maternity building is very near completion, thanks to support from the UK, which has enabled us to do as much. We are currently using part of the staff quarter for maternity purposes until the building is completed. We have been advised by medical supervisors to do a separate solar installation for the maternity building as the one currently used has been struggling to upkeep the medical Health Centre day and night. Solar is generally expensive at installation but a very safe source of electricity when properly installed. Many Hospitals around the country use both solar for the day and some parts of the night and then generator plants further in the night towards dawn and also for situations when high power consuming machines are used for certain tests and operations.

The hospital has been a big blessing to many. Patients come from far and wide, and many from very remote areas. They mainly use motor bikes to access the Health Centre. Pregnant women and children face several challenges sometimes with the motor bikes. We pray for the day when we will have ambulance services to salvage some of these risky situations. We have been seeking help from government ambulances when we have critical referrals but have proven most ineffective in our district.

The Health Centre mainly offers the following services: general outpatient consultation of both medical and surgical care, in patients with both male and female wards, laboratory facilities, full maternity services with antenatal deliveries and post-natal care and eye care services. The total number of patients between January and December 2023 according to the administrator, not counting follow up patients and eye care patients, is 1468. Eye care patients are by far more than 500. I have tried to present some statistics here of the 1468 in and out patients that are registered.

 healthcentre patient stats

healthcentre stats


Watching the figures closely, I really felt bad about the figure on malnutrition. And I am very sure that the figures on diarrhoea are also linked to the problem of malnutrition. Poverty may be the crowning factor of most of these. We know people lack the physical food that is why we think we should give them more spiritual food because man cannot live by bread alone. Giving them the Matthew 4:4 food will give people strength, knowledge and wisdom to acquire the rice, the potato, the cassava and the yam, whose lack could be part of the reason for malnutrition. It is also important to know that malaria also thrives in the arena of malnutrition and diarrhoea.

I must finally note here that we have not done any official marketing of the Health Centre for fear of not being able to chew what we bite. Once we are able to complete the maternity building, fix up the electricity problems and employ the required staff, we will properly take from the ground and proclaim Jesus even more loudly through the healing ministry. Please continue to pray for the staff and administrators and for God’s provision towards the electricity, staffing and maternity building.

Magnus Bendu



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