Friday, March 07, 2008

Newsletter excerpt April 2005...

Since today marked my 3 year anniversary in Sierra Leone I thought I’d dig up some former newsletter material. Here's an excerpt from April 2005; shortly after I arrived in Sierra Leone, but shortly before the outpatient clinic opened on May 10th…

"scope of the clinic (at least initially)
Since I am starting a new clinic and don’t know how many patients will show up, I’ve decided to start on a small scale and expand if possible (rather than starting big and having to scale down!). The plan is to start with an out patient clinic for children twelve years old and under which will initially be open three days a week. The other two days will be spent training the community health nurses, going out into the local community and focusing on prevention. And of course there’s always the administration that needs to get done, statistics etc. And various meetings to attend! After three months we’ll evaluate our services and possibly expand.

The child mortality rate in Sierra Leone is the highest in the world at 286 deaths per 1000 live births, meaning that almost 3 out of 10 children die before reaching the age of 5. 70% of these deaths are due to diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, malnutrition and measles; all preventable diseases! As you can imagine, these statistics are hard to tackle, especially when you are in one of the poorest countries in the world. In the out patient clinic I hope to be able to combine curative and preventive care, to make an attempt at improving the health/welfare of the people in the local community. Some of the preventive measures I hope to implement are the provision of childhood immunizations, growth monitoring, provision of bed nets, health education, etc. Although I know that my work here will be limited in scope, I want to be optimistic. Instead of looking at the millions of people that I can’t help, I want to focus on the individuals that I can have an impact on. I hope that during my time here I can make a difference in the lives of the Sierra Leoneans in our area. Sometimes it is the drop in the bucket that counts!!! “Love in action” is a motto we often refer to, that is what I hope to do- to share God’s love with others by reaching out to them as Jesus did."

So there you have it. Those were my initial thoughts. I guess I was on the right track. Why I ever even thought we might need to expand I don’t know because there is definitely no shortage of pediatric patients. Unfortunately the child mortality rate remains the highest in the world. The children are vulnerable. I want to make a difference. The work continues...

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Lieve San

Thank you for believing in the project. Thank you for giving all you have got and most of the time even more. On behalf of the mom's and children of greater Freetown, THANK YOU.
Love always
mama

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~