Health & Education for Sierra Leone
Health & Education for Sierra Leone

Programs

Women’s Literacy & Vocational Programs

At the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone‘s facilities in Freetown, and the One World Women's Institute, students learn marketable trades and the skills to put them to use. Each graduate receives a start-up kit which includes the equipment and supplies to open a shop of her own. Training is offered in tailoring, tie dying, and catering along with literacy and math.

 

This program provides participants with:

  • Practical, marketable skills;
  • Formal literacy instruction from certified teachers;
  • The skills needed to successfully operate their own small businesses; and
  • Equipment and supplies to establish their own businesses upon graduation.

 

Calaba Town Clinic

Operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sierra Leone, Calaba Town Clinic operates in the eastern part of Freetown. The low-cost clinic is available to the entire community and helps address little health concerns before they become life-threatening issues. Services include: primary care, urgent care, midwife-assisted delivery, prenatal care, infant and well-mother exams, wound care, screening for high blood pressure and diabetes, and many other vital services.

 

Fistula Repair Surgery

The West Africa Fistula Foundation operates a surgery center in Bo, Sierra Leone. Caused by obstructed labor, an obstetric fistula is a hole between birth canal and bladder. If left untreated a fistula leads to infection and to personal hygiene issues, including urine leakage.

It is not unusual for women suffering from fistula to be shunned by their families and become beggars in one of the poorest countries on earth.

 

A patient awaits her turn for fistula repair surgery.

Fewer than half of all child births in Sierra Leone are attended by any trained professional, such as a midwife, nurse, or doctor. Often no one is available to offer treatment when complications arise, as they do in approximately 15% of all births. This can lead to disabling injuries like fistula, and even death. One in eleven Sierra Leonean women dies as a result of complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

Fistula repair surgery saves lives and makes it possible for women to live normally within the community.

Access to fistula  repair surgery provides patients with:

  • Restored health and dignity;
  • Longer life span;
  • Ability to better care for their children;
  • Ability to participate in the economy and society; and
  • Ability to experience love and romance again.

Epidemic Response Program

This program provides medical supplies through a network of Care providers in event of an outbreak. It also provides food to quarantined homes. This program was tremenously successful in helping to contain the 2014-2015 Ebola Outbreak. Supplies include: fish, rice, onions, oil, tomato paste, and Maggi (a popular seasoning mix.)

 

K-12 Textbooks & Library Books

There is a substantial shortage of books in Sierra Leone. Students who are lucky enough to have books often share with several classmates. In addition, many libraries are still short of books following destruction during the war. IDEA supplies appropriate books to elementary and secondary schools as well to universities and public libraries.

By supporting educational and public institutions with books, IDEA:

  • Increases opportunities for education
  • Helps to expand the knowledge-based infrastructure
  • Provides the tools for teachers to teach more efficiently and effectively.

This program coordinates with:

 

Medical Equipment and Supplies

 

Medi Send Packages

The IDEA Foundation program partner, Medisend International provides medical equipment and supplies to our sponsored health care providers.

Because Sierra Leone’s scarce medical resources have been pushed to areas hardest hit by Ebola, care is often unavailable to  individuals facing every day medical issues. As a result of the current epidemic, the number of births attended by a medical professional has been cut in half (down to 30%); and treatment is largely unavailable for the estimated 2 million Sierra Leoneans who have Malaria.

Much of the IDEA-sponsored medical equipment and supplies currently being distributed in Sierra Leone is being directed to hospitals and clinics which do not focus on care for Ebola patients. Promoting health for the population as a whole is a key component in fighting the epidemic and ensuring the long-term health of the community.

We work with our program partners to ensure that the items shipped to Sierra Leone are the items that will be of the most use in serving their clients. This helps our partners provide efficient, cost-effective care.

By sending medical equipment and supplies to Sierra Leone, IDEA:

  • Helps institutions provide better healthcare
  • Allows more consistent care of patient
  • Decreases the infant and maternal mortality rates

MediSend International Press Releases:
Six Developing Countries To Benefit from the MediSend Biomedical Repair Training Programs
MediSend International Ships Medical Supplies to Ebola Stricken West Africa

 

Safe Drinking Water

Without access to clean water, life is a daily struggle for survival. It is difficult to believe that in an area where rainfall is heavy there is difficulty to having clean water, yet poor access to safe drinking water was a major factor in the 2012 cholera outbreak that struck Sierra Leone.

Capped, hand-dug wells are an economical and efficient way to solve the problem in Sierra Leone.

In partnership with Water2Thrive, IDEA identified a community that was not only hard hit by the cholera outbreak, but is located at a busy crossroads. The well installed in Deep Eye not only improved the health of the people who live there, but also helped prevent travelers from taking cholera to other areas.

In addition, women and girls often have to walk for hours every day to collect water that is frequently contaminated. Girls may spend so much time hauling water that they are unable to attend school; forfeiting their chance for an education and their best hope for escaping poverty.  By having to wake up early to find water and wait for the find they lose their valuable time which could have been used toward their education which could help them in the long run. Digging a well addresses not only health issues, but those for an education as well.

Safe, clean water transforms the lives of everyone in the community, from infants to the elderly. Chronic illness is replaced with health; despair with hope. It is the first step to a better life for years and even generations.

Clean water from these wells provides communities with:

  • Improved health due to reduced transmission of waterborne diseases and parasites; and
  • Increased literacy rate among girls, which is the best known way of improving a country’s health, economy, and stability.
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