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.