Whenever Sierra Leone is in crisis, we all have a critical role to play because the needs are always so great.
Over the past 10 days, I’ve been listening to doctors, asking questions to understand theirs, and their facilities’ needs. It seemed the natural place to start was to ask those at the Frontline.
What I learned and I’m still learning about our health care system, is that there is no baseline for quality care for patients. The things that you and I would take for granted at a hospital in the US are a DREAM here. Patients must bring everything. While conditions vary from one facility to the next, the fact is that our health institutions not only rob citizens of life (when doctors don’t have what they need to treat patients) but also their dignity.
It is with these existing conditions and inadequacies that doctors and medical staff are now being asked to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.
Already Sierra Leone has a higher case mortality rate. With just 199 cases we have a 5.3% mortality rate (11 deaths) while Ghana with over 2000 cases has a less than 1% mortality rate (18 deaths).
The reason for this isn’t because Ghanaians are better doctors and nurses rather it’s that they have access to medication and equipment that we don’t have.
People who have been held in quarantine and isolation centers in Ghana have done so in comfort, Govt has provided food and welfare.
In Sierra Leone, patients don’t have enough of the basics; bedsheets, adult pampers, and even hand wash.
During and after this crisis, we have to commit to a basic level of quality care for citizens. Health workers need vital tools to save lives.
The government has received funds and donations but these have not reflected in the national response at the frontline.
Working with doctors here and volunteers we have put together a fundraiser to mobilize resources for the frontline.
On Monday we launched a GoFundMe and raised $5000 in the first 24 hours. The previous week we equipped 12 isolation beds with all the tools they needed to prevent cross-transmission of COVID positive cases and negative. On Wednesday we will deliver a consignment of goods including glucose machines, baby food, medication, and toiletries to the Jui COVID Treatment Facility, and the 34 Military Treatment Facility.
I’m writing to ask that you join the fight to #BeatCovid in Sierra Leone by adopting a bed.
If you can not give at this time please visit our fundraising page and help us share the campaign with your contacts.