Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone

by Build Health International
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Equip Maternal Health Center in Sierra Leone
Florence Saffia (pictured below) at the MCOE
Florence Saffia (pictured below) at the MCOE

There are several exciting developments to report from Kono, Sierra Leone! After a long and wet rainy season, we are thrilled to announce that construction on the Maternal Center of Excellence (MCOE) is officially underway! 

Much of the progress has been thanks to the extensive hiring and training of the local construction workforce, which is made up of local community members. Each team member is personally invested in building the equitable, accessible, and sustainable infrastructure that will provide high-quality healthcare access for mothers and newborns. 

Throughout their training, many have experienced both personal and professional transformation. Take Florence Safia, Tool Depot Manager at the MCOE. In a recent conversation, she remarked: 

“I have learned so much about construction in my short time with BHI. I have understood that it’s not only men that can do construction work but we, as women, can also stand up for our rights and do this type of work that is considered to be for men only in Sierra Leone. If this project was not here, BHI would not have come, and we would have no jobs. We are immensely proud to be building this hospital for our people. I know that most women in our communities will be blessed to give birth here.”

The team will soon be learning more from experts who can contribute to their professional development. This month, five Haitian-based team members who built Build Health International's first project, the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais in Haiti, will be traveling to Kono to train the Sierra Leone crew and provide them with supplemental technical skills and expertise.

In addition to training the team, a few construction updates include:

  • Pouring concrete and layout for the South Ward and Kitchen
  • Continuing the foundation for the facility’s perimeter fence and block work on the site wall 
  • Planning the layout for the Birthing Center 

We appreciate your continued support of and dedication to the Maternal Center of Excellence in Sierra Leone. Stay tuned for more ways that you can be involved with this work. 

With gratitude,

Rosanna 

Team members working on columns at the MCOE
Team members working on columns at the MCOE
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Concrete footing cleared at MCOE construction site
Concrete footing cleared at MCOE construction site

It has been a busy couple of months at the Maternal Center of Excellence (MCOE) construction site in Kono, Sierra Leone. The summer months are a difficult time for constriction in Sierra Leone, as heavy downpours lead to frequent starts and stops. Despite the challenges the rainy season brings, Build Health International has pushed forward by adapting to the weather conditions and making significant progress on the groundwork of the MCOE. 

We are excited to share some construction highlights with you and other MCOE supporters. Among the accomplishments in the past few months, our team has:

  • Demolished and cleared a large water cistern and electrical power plant that previously occupied the construction site. 
  • Removed deep-rooted concrete foundations from the previous structures. 
  • Cut, leveled, and prepared the site for the maternity ward, outpatient department, and a temporary bathroom. 

This essential progress will lay the foundation for the future MCOE, ensuring that the site can sustainably support the future hospital and expand maternal health access for years to come. 

Thank you again for your critical support of the Maternal Center of Excellence. We are excited to keep providing updates as construction of the MCOE picks up. 

With gratitude,

Olivia

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Nearly a year ago, you kindly donated to the Maternal Center of Excellence (MCOE) project in Kono, Sierra Leone. The future MCOE will be a transformative facility that will drastically improve maternal health outcomes across the region and train the next generation of healthcare professionals in Sierra Leone and beyond. In the year since you gave, significant progress has been made on design, construction, and capacity building for the future maternal health center. Some of the accomplishments over the past year include:

  • Breaking ground on the MCOE construction site. 
  • Optimizing the facility’s design to ensure patient comfort and safety. 
  • Organizing a team of Haitian foreman and laborers who will travel to Sierra Leone to lead the earthwork phase of construction in the coming months. 

Construction of the MCOE will be a multi-year process, but the work being done right now is among the most critical, as it will lay the groundwork for the MCOE’s long term sustainability and success. Thank you again for your support of the MCOE and Build Health International – enabling us to lay the groundwork for health equity for years to come. 

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May 2021, BHI staff made Sierra Leone site visit
May 2021, BHI staff made Sierra Leone site visit

As we head into the Thanksgiving Holiday, we are thankful for our global community of partners and donors who have joined us to build resilient health infrastructure where it is needed most. Among these critical infrastructure projects is the Maternal Center of Excellence (MCoE) in Sierra Leone, which you generously supported last April. In the spirit of giving thanks, we wanted to reach out and thank you again for your contribution by providing a quick update on the MCoE. 

Since we officially broke ground on the MCoE alongside Partners in Health on April 23, 2021, BHI has been hard at work preparing for the 143 bed teaching hospital and resource center. At home, our team has been finalizing key design elements such as ventilation and passive air flow to ensure infection control and make the facility environmentally sustainable (learn more about the technical design process here). In Sierra Leone, the team has completed site assessments to source materials, vendors, and additional resources for the project. 

Thanks to the support of donors like you, in 3 years when construction is complete and the MCoE opens its doors, clinicians will be equipped with the biomedical equipment they need to provide high-quality care and dramatically improve maternal health outcomes.

Thank you for helping us build towards a future where all women – regardless of where they are born – have access to safe, dignified, and life-saving maternal healthcare. We are thankful for your support in helping us set a new standard for maternal healthcare in Sierra Leone.

Rendering of the future MCoE
Rendering of the future MCoE
February 2020, BHI presented future MCoE design
February 2020, BHI presented future MCoE design
April 2021, BHI and PIH broke ground on MCoE
April 2021, BHI and PIH broke ground on MCoE

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Sierra Leone Minister of Health Speaks at Ceremony
Sierra Leone Minister of Health Speaks at Ceremony

Here at Build Health International, it has been a busy couple of months. As the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads throughout much of the Global South, our focus has turned to sustainably expanding access to medical oxygen infrastructure in the most high need countries, such as Uganda, Nepal, Haiti, and Malawi. And this work is growing every day. 

Alongside this keen focus on expanding oxygen access, we’ve remained committed to our ongoing projects, including the Maternal Center of Excellence (MCoE) in Sierra Leone, which you generously donated to this past spring!

On April 23rd, we broke ground on the MCoE! Since then, our team has been on site, completing work on the layout, meeting with leaders in the community, and locating resources for construction. 

The construction of the MCoE is set to take 2 years. While this date may seem far off, your gift will ensure that when the hospital doors open in 2+ years, clinicians are equipped with the biomedical equipment they need to provide high-quality care and ultimately improve maternal health outcomes. 

As we begin the construction phase of this project, we’re proud to have you on our team every step of the wayworking towards a future where more women can experience the joys of motherhood rather than the fears—and setting a new standard of maternal care in Sierra Leone.

Staff Gather to Celebrate MCoE Ground Breaking
Staff Gather to Celebrate MCoE Ground Breaking
BHI Staff Make Site Visit
BHI Staff Make Site Visit
Paul Farmer and Sierra Leone's Minister of Health
Paul Farmer and Sierra Leone's Minister of Health
Ground is Broken at Site of Future MCoE
Ground is Broken at Site of Future MCoE

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Organization Information

Build Health International

Location: Beverly, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BuildHealthIntl
Project Leader:
Olivia Duggan
Beverly, MA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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