Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Launch of the Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health

Many of you as regular supporters will know we have spent the last 12 months establishing the Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health (SLICH) to improve paediatric care in Sierra Leone.

June marked the official launch of SLICH. Already it has begun to work towards its aims: bringing the right people together, identifying where the need is greatest, and making sure lasting changes happen.

So far we have:

A new proposal process in place

SLICH looks to local people and the staff of the Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH) to acquire the best understanding of what the hospital and its young patients need. Staff and other stakeholders are encouraged to submit short proposals for funding and support. The SLICH board – which includes representatives from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, ODCH, and the Welbodi Partnership – then reviews these proposals at quarterly meetings. Funds for approved projects or supplies are released to ODCH, which must then account for those funds at the next SLICH meeting.

We believe that local planning and implementation are fundamental to our aim to improve paediatric care, and we're very excited about the SLICH funding process as a way to empower the ODCH staff and managers to propose and deliver improvements to their hospital.

Acted upon the following proposals

The first SLICH board meeting took place in June. The approved proposals represented a total budget of Le 91,419,000 (approx $23,000). These are now underway and include:

• Provision of library facilities
• Purchase of a standby generator and construction of a generator house
• Plumbing and electrical repairs
• Accommodation for visiting doctors

Call for new proposals

The second SLICH board meeting was held on 2nd October, and the ODCH staff and managers came up with a fresh round of exciting and important proposals to improve the quality of care and training at ODCH.

Stay tuned for details on these proposals and the SLICH board’s funding decisions for the final quarter of 2009.

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