Dear Global Giving Donor,
In December of 2012 GGM opened the doors of our free outpatient hospital in Lakka, the Western rural area of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Since January of 2013 a total of 5,916 patients have been evaluated and treated. Of the 5,916, 3,357 were over 5 years of age with 1,559 age five years or younger
As we do not yet have power most of our laboratory diagnosis is from microscope gram stain analysis or rapid test kits. Funds raised on this site help cover the costs of diagnosis and treatment.
Of the 4,090 patients seen from April 2013 through September, 2013, 1,537 patients were diagnosed with malaria, a disease that is endemic in Sierra Leone. Each of those patients is treated with Lonart (malaria medicine), vitamins, paracetamol (generic Tylenol) for fever and iron tablets.
Between April 2013 and September 2013 our hospital diagnosed and treated 8 cholera cases, 4 typhoid cases and 112 venereal infections. Each of these patients are treated with antibiotics and when needed IV fluids.
The clinic also treats and uses diagnostic tests for pregnancy, urinary tract infections, diabetes, hypertension and parasite infections with skins scrapings and clinical examination. Colds, fever, pneumonia etc. are also treated.
Without continued support this hospital could not stay open. Funds raised support the free laboratory, pharmacy, staff and medical supplies needed.
We are very grateful to all or donors. Thank you!
Global Giving June Update
As the International Director of Greatest Goal Ministries (GGM), I just returned from an 8 week visit to our out-patient hospital, the Lady Deborah Berewa Hospital (LDBH) located in Laka, Western Rural District of Sierra Leone.
Traveling with me for almost 3 weeks was a 10 member team. Goals for the team surrounding this trip included the following:
1) A water and sanitation randomized household survey in a 6 mile radius surrounding our outpatient hospital
2) Introduction of a nonprofit organization called iRespond who were interested in discussing with the government of Sierra Leone several technological and biometric initiatives in partnership with Greatest Goal Ministries and the Ministry of Health.
3) One team member was a film student from a local college who documented our activities. Her new documentary will be finished before the end of the summer and we look forward to sharing that with all of our donors.
4) Arrival of a fourth cruise ship to Sierra Leone that toured our facility and then watched an exhibition match of the polio playing the amputees. Guest appearances from the former vice-president of Sierra Leone, Solomon Berewa, the First Lady of Sierra Leone and the Deputy Minister of sports made for an eventful day for guests and staff alike.
The remainder of the time was spent in meetings with government officials and Ministry of Health personnel. The First Lady of Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Sia Koroma, has asked GGM to act in the capacity of technical pilots in moving forward on a five year plan for a cancer center and cancer program in Sierra Leone. I was called to the State House to meet with the President, His Excellency Ernest Koroma, and present the 5 year initial timeline to him and receive his endorsement. This was granted by the President to move forward with the program. I was introduced to the US Ambassador and shared with him the cancer program vision.
From there, with help from the First Lady and her policy advisor, Sam Bangura, meetings were held with the Minister of Health and various Sierra Leone medical staff. A cancer committee has now been formed in Sierra Leone with Dr. Deen, a Sierra Leone physician, named as project manager. A SL cancer advisor committee is currently being formed in the USA to work with the SL cancer committee as plans move forward.
A cancer registry that was started in June 2012 with a small amount of funding from the WHO has now developed targets and direction with a culminating stakeholders conference scheduled in December 2013 with various US physicians speaking.
In addition to those meetings, time was spent at our new outpatient hospital. Our office in central Freetown has been moved to office space at our hospital and our first quarterly reports have been compiled. As an outpatient hospital we operate with a small laboratory and pharmacy. We believe we are the only outpatient facility that can offer both those services in all of Sierra Leone. And most importantly, other than a small registration fee of 1.00 USD or 4,000 le, the visit is free. We have over 50 patients being treated regularly for diabetes and hypertension. Our staff is all Sierra Leonean with the exception of our Laboratory Director and Operations Supervisor, Jerry Staples, an American and former director of a laboratory in a 350 bed hospital outside of Seattle, WA. He has been living in Sierra Leone full time for the past two years. Out of our 16 Sierra Leonean staff, 2 are polio victims, 2 are deaf and 1 is an amputee.
A brief outline of this quarter’s statistics includes:
Greatest Goal Ministries Lady Deborah Berewa Hospital Laka, Sierra Leone
First Quarter--January-March, 2013
Total Patients Adults 6 to 21 5 and under
January, 2013 814 621 193
February, 2013 472 378 94
March, 2013 540 413 127
Malaria 52 12 12 28
January, 2013 2
February, 2013 2
March, 2013 5
January, 2013 2
February, 2013 2
March, 2013 4
January, 2013 4
February, 2013 1
March, 2013 2
This list does not include typhoid, TB, cholera, parasite infections, skin disease rashes, diarrhea and other illnesses and diseases.
The results of the water and sanitation survey have been attached to this update along with a PowerPoint presentation.
The new GGM Lady Deborah Berewa Hospital in Lakka opened the doors in December of 2012. Currentlyoperating as a free outpatient clinic the hospital has been seeing an average of 40 patients a day.
GGM is continuing to work closely with the office of the First Lady of Sierra Leone as we develop a cancer screening program and cancer center. From March 16th – April 2 a 10 member team from Greatest Goal Ministries will betraveling to Sierra Leone. One of the primary objectives will be a two week water and sanitation household survey ofa 6 mile radius surrounding the new Lady Deborah Berewa Hospital (LDBH) in Lakka in conjunction with the local chief and council members.
An additional objective will be meetings with the First Lady and her team as we progress on our discussions of expansion at the LDBH. GGM has been busy since December talking to organizations in the USA who may be able to assist in development of this joint dream to develop cancer screening and a cancer hospital.
Two medical mission trips have also been scheduled for October and December of 2013. These teams are composed of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health care workers and volunteers.
We are busy trying to learn about our new community and will work with the local chief and decision makers in regard to community health education programs and services GGM may be able to assist with.
I returned from a 6 week trip to Sierra Leone in October. During that time I had arranged a meeting with Her Excellency, Sia Nyama Koroma, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
As an organization we had been praying for expansion of our free primary care clinic in Murray Town, Freetown which was opened in 2009. During conversations held earlier in spring the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) made it clear that they did not want further expansion at our clinic site. The land had become a political hotspot for the community between various council people and the widespread encroachment of businesses on the property we had been originally told we could expand upon.
We decided to go straight to the top and see if there was an existing, empty hospital building that we could move our clinic to so that our free health services for the disabled and underserved could continue without disruption but also large enough or with adjacent property that we could expand and build a cancer center on in the future. There is currently no cancer care available anywhere in Sierra Leone. To our amazement I was told by the First Lady that I was the answer to her prayer.
Three days later were given an empty building in Lakka on Peninsular Road just outside the capital city of Freetown. The former Vice-President of Sierra Leone, Mr. Solomon Berewa had built the 24 bed hospital in memory of his late wife in 2006. It had never been opened.
After 3 meetings with the First Lady and 4 meetings with the former Vice President we went to work preparing the building with painting, cleaning, and renovation to the ceiling, electrical and water. On Friday, Nov. 2 all parties, the current interim Minister of Health and Sanitation, Her Excellency Sia Nyama Koroma, Mr. Solomon Berewa and GGM had signed off on a 20 year Memorandum of Understanding with 1.5 acres of land available for a future cancer center.
The new name of our clinic/hospital is “Lady Deborah Berewa Hospital”. The doors are now open andpatients are being seen. We are excited about this collaborative effort in place with the office of the First Lady andhope to be able to report many new and exciting developments as GGM continues to strive for improved health care in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone’s cholera epidemic is all over the news and a few of the headlines are listed below. Cholera is a preventable disease but it spreads like wildfire in a country such as Sierra Leone ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. Lack of housing, crowded living conditions, poor to no sanitation, a lack of understanding of basic hygiene, lack of clean water all of these descriptions help create the picture of why the epidemic is traveling so fast and why more will die before the epidemic is over.
As of September 11th, Sierra Leone has reported over 17,500 cases of cholera and over 260 deaths. Twelve of the 13 districts in the country have been affected. Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. People usually become infected from drinking or eating contaminated water or food. It is associated with watery diarrhea and rapid dehydration, which can be life-threatening.
The GGM clinic in Freetown is not treating cholera patients due to the size and staffing of our clinic but we are seeing patients with the disease and referring them to cholera treatment centers. We have received funding from some of our donors for test kits that we are hand carrying to Sierra Leone in mid-September. These kits will be used at our clinic as well as donated to several of our referring hospitals.
We are also educating patients about the disease and what preventive measures they can take to keep from contracting the disease and what they should do if they or a loved one has symptoms of the disease. These are classes are being held in our new education center.
Government officials and the WHO are all stating that this epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better and education is the best medicine. GGM is joining the fight to educate the patients and the community against this preventable but deadly disease.
BBC News - Sierra Leone cholera death toll rises
Aug 20, 2012 – A cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone has infected more than 100000 people and kills at least 176 since January, officials say.
From Freetown the Sierra Express Media writes-Prevention is best for Cholera… By: SEM on September 7, 2012. Sierra Express Media would like to add voice to the latest threat of existence that has scourged our land and is still threatening the lives of our treasured country folks. As of the first week in September, the cumulative cases and death from cholera as reported by the Health and Sanitation Ministry were 15,564 and 249 deaths respectively. Twelve of the thirteen districts of the country are now affected. The Western area has continued to report the highest cases with Bombali, Tonkolili, and Kenema toeing the line.
World Vision Issued this Declaration
WV SIERRA LEONE Category II National Office Response Level Emergency Declaration for the Flood and Waterborne Disease Out Break: Owing to the current heavy rains that started in May 2012, Sierra Leone has experienced seasonal floods in different parts of the country especially in the low lands that includes the capital city Freetown. These floods in turn have caused an outbreak of water borne diseases of which Cholera is the most notable and has been declared a National Health disaster.
The Minister of Health, Madam Zainab Hawah Bangura, confirms that this is the worst Cholera Outbreak, since 1998, and as at 28th August 2012, it has claimed 231 lives, 14,465 reported cases and 11 districts affectedout of 12 districts, the Minister further predicts that the death toll will surpass the 2,500 deaths in the 2011 Cholera outbreak. Further, other agencies including UN have predicted that number of cases will increase to 32,000 in the next three months.
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