Thursday, August 4, 2011

Welbodi Quiz Night

On Friday the 15th of July, Welbodi Partnership held a fundraising quiz night, hosted by IMATT in Freetown. Just one week after sending out invitations, we had generated more interest than we could cope with. After asking IMATT to agree to 100 participants, rather than the originally planned number of 80, we started putting addi

tional names on a waiting list. Needless to say, we saw this as a sign that the night would be a success.

The Welbodi team, and a few honorary Welbodies, spent the next week planning and preparing for the night. Quiz questions were thought up, spectacular raffle prizes were arranged, raffle tickets were created, emails were sent back and forth, lists of names were submitted, the hall was set-up, etc. We were determined to make this a spectacular event.

On the evening, as people entered the room, they paid their entrance fee and were encouraged to buy raffle tickets to make a chance at winning some amazing prizes, raising more money for Welbodi. Prizes were varied and included winning 5 movie tickets, a night at the Chimpanzee Reserve, a day’s vehicle hire on the peninsula, a trip to the Africa Mercy to tour the ship and enjoy Starbucks, Splash cash and last but not least meals at various restaurants like O’Casey’s, Roy’s, Atlantic, Independence Bar and Crown Express.

The quiz rounds soon began and teams did their best to come up with the right answers to questions. Rounds varied from questions about sports, science & nature, history, entertainment, general knowledge and world, to picture rounds including popular locations within Freetown and a music round including lyrics in Krio, which was by far the most popular round.

At the end of the night, while the points were tallied, the raffle was drawn. Unplanned, one raffle prize ended up being auctioned off which was great fun with some high bidding taking place between two individuals. Finally, the winners were announced and the first prize went to the team “4 Nations”.

The fundraiser was a huge success and with everyone’s help we were able to raise Le 4,370,000, which is just over one thousand US dollars! This money will be used to continue improving child health care at ODCH. Welbodi Partnership would again like to thank IMATT for hosting, the prize givers for donating prizes and those individuals who made this event a success.

Test your knowledge with some of the questions from quiz night.

1. What is the capital of the newest country in the world?

2. What is the color of hippo milk?

3. What quintessential salone (food) product comes from the Jura region of France?

4. At the end of the 19th Century, European powers had occupied and ruled over all but 2 African countries. Which two?

5. What is the exact date when Sierra Leone became independent?

Answers are in the comments.

Can you host an event to help raise money for the Welbodi Partnership?

It’s easy, fun, and a great way to contribute to our work in Sierra Leone. Make your own free fundraising website in minutes at JustGiving, and contact us at info(at) if you need information or materials to help make your event a success.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wi Dae Go! Improving Care at ODCH

Here are just a few of the many exciting activities keeping our team and partners busy in recent months:

- A new Emergency Room/Intensive Care wing opened, in place of the old administrative wing, thanks to Cap Anamur, a German organization working at ODCH.

- Reconstruction of the neonatal unit began, funded by UNFPA with oversight from Welbodi Partnership. This very exciting and much-needed project will double the size of the unit and provide a separate outpatient consultation room, an isolation room, a place for mothers to stay near their children, and more space overall.

- A team of lab experts from the UK and the Gambia visited ODCH to provided technical advice and training to ODCH lab technicians. This was part of a long-term lab development project between Swansea University in the UK, THET, the British Council, and the Oxted Trust, facilitated by Welbodi Partnership.

- A team of students from King's College London arrived in Freetown in July to work with Welbodi to conduct qualitative research on health seeking behaviour in the communities that surround ODCH. We hope the results will give us more insight as to why children come to the hospital late and help us find ways to tackle those barriers.

- Board members for the Sierra Leone Institute for Child Health (SLICH) had another successful quarterly meeting in July 2011 and approved a number of projects that had been proposed by ODCH staff to improve the quality of care provided at the hospital.

- Postgraduate training for doctors continues to move forward, thanks in large part to input from Nigerian Fellow of the West African College of Paediatrics, Professor Tamra Abiodan, who has been working at ODCH for a year and a half. Starting next month, we will have paediatric consultants volunteering at ODCH for several months at a time to help with clinical teaching. We have our first three volunteers confirmed and are now recruiting for positions for 2012-2013.

- We are also working closely with our partners in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to establish a paediatric nurse training program. At the same time, we are looking at how Welbodi can work with a local radiologist and radiographer to help them set up a training program in radiography. In the coming years, we believe these training efforts will have an impact on the quality of paediatric care not only at ODCH but nationwide.

Introducing the Newest Welbodi Team Members

We are very excited to welcome two new members of our team: Dr. Anne Nesbitt and Suzanne Thomas. Both will be joining us in Freetown shortly as full-time volunteers. It is wonderful when such skilled individuals are willing to give their time and energy to Welbodi and to ODCH.

Dr. Anne Nesbitt is a consultant paediatrician with extensive experience in acute and community paediatrics in the UK and Africa. Over the course of her career, Anne has spent more than 11 years in various African countries, including Sierra Leone. We are thrilled to welcome her back to Freetown, where she will be delivering clinical teaching through our postgraduate training program for doctors.

Suzanne Thomas is a pharmacist with expertise in designing, delivering, and evaluating training initiatives for a wide variety of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and community health workers. In 2008, she volunteered in Southern Sudan as an advisor and trainer. She will be a tremendous asset to our ongoing training initiatives for staff at Ola During Children’s Hospital.

Welcome Anne and Suzanne!

Would you like to get involved? Contact info(at) to find out how, or see our job posting for volunteer consultant paediatricians.

Help train Salone's next generation of paediatricians

Voluntary Position Available – Consultant Paediatrician

Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Assignment Length: 3 months
Number of positions available: 4
Starting – to run consecutively between June 2012-Aug 2013.

Interested candidates should please send a CV and cover letter by 1st September 2011 to Dr Fred Martineau at: fred(at)

As a Consultant Paediatrician with Welbodi Partnership, you would have a direct and significant impact on the quality of care provided to extremely disadvantaged children. You would play a crucial role in the development of Sierra Leone’s first ever postgraduate paediatric training programme, producing the country’s future leaders in child health.

Job Description

The consultant subspecialist paediatrician will champion the development of their subspecialty in Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH), Sierra Leone’s only specialist paediatric facility. They will take a leading role in the recently established postgraduate paediatric training programme, providing educational supervision and expert clinical teaching on their special interest to paediatric residents.

In addition to these two principle roles, the consultant will be expected to take on further responsibilities aimed at improving the quality of paediatric health care in Sierra Leone. This will include general paediatric clinical commitments, teaching all cadres of health professionals and students and the development of clinical services as detailed below.

The assignment will require 3 months of clinical work in Sierra Leone. The successful applicant will be encouraged to contribute to the clinical and educational activities of the hospital before and after this period through the use of e-learning and telemedicine packages.


The Consultant will be required to fulfil the role of subspecialist as stipulated by the West African College of Physicians (WACP) for the training of paediatric residents to take their WACP Membership exams, namely:

1. Develop and run subspecialist paediatric services. This will include the running of specialty clinics, advising on the appropriate equipping of hospital facilities and improving clinical care pathways relevant to their subspecialty.

2. Take a leading role in the postgraduate academic programme, including the educational supervision of registrars and active participation in the postgraduate academic teaching programme.

Individual workplans will be determined on appointment, in discussion with Welbodi Partnership and the hospital management team, to include some or all of the following:

3. Provide general inpatient and outpatient paediatric care. Engage in direct clinical work at a consultant level, running ward rounds and outpatient clinics. Out-of-hours commitments will be limited to telephone advice.

4. Additional academic activities: Delivering teaching to doctors, nurses and students at the hospital and involvement with relevant national academic programmes at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS). Conduct and supervise research and audit as appropriate.

5. Clinical service development. Take joint responsibility with ODCH management and staff for implementing medical project work to improve patient care.

6. E-learning and telemedicine. Welbodi are collaborating with to provide distance-based clinical and educational supervision. These will allow successful applicants to extend their contribution to paediatrics in Sierra Leone beyond their time on the ground and enhance the sustainability of any changes introduced.

7. Other projects targeting child mortality and morbidity in Sierra Leone that are in keeping with the principles of Welbodi Partnership.


1. Medical degree from a WHO-recognised medical school.

2. Consultant-level or equivalent qualification in Paediatrics – e.g. Certificate of Completion of (Specialist) Training (UK), Fellow of the West African College of Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics board certification. We will gladly consider other suitable qualifications that are equivalent to FWACP.

3. Demonstrable subspecialisation or special interest within paediatrics in one of: cardiology, respiratory, haematology/oncology, endocrine, renal, metabolic or infectious diseases.

4. Professional experience of healthcare in Africa or other low-resource setting.

5. Experience of teaching at postgraduate and undergraduate levels.

6. In-depth, substantive knowledge of healthcare policy in developing countries.

7. Excellent people skills and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds in a dynamic and constantly-shifting environment.

8. Excellent written and oral English communication skills.

9. Flexibility, focus, and the presence of mind to work in sometimes difficult and chaotic circumstances.

10. Commitment to the goals and principles of the Welbodi Partnership.


The Welbodi Partnership is a small organisation with limited financial resources.

The positions are on a voluntary basis with no salary or personal allowance. Welbodi are willing to cover the cost of a return flight to Sierra Leone, medical registration and visa application fee, and will provide accommodation and daily transport to and from the hospital. You will need to cover the cost of all other expenses.


The Welbodi Partnership is a UK-registered charity established to support the provision of paediatric health care in Sierra Leone and in particular the Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health (SLICH). SLICH is a joint project between the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, ODCH, and the Welbodi Partnership to create a centre of excellence in paediatric care. It forms part of the Government of Sierra Leone’s Strategic Plan for Reproductive and Child Health.

The 150-bedded hospital is located in the poor and densely-populated eastern part of Freetown, where 96% of families living in slum conditions. It treats more than 40,000 patients each year, spread across two inpatient wards, an outpatient department, emergency room, ICU, SCBU and a therapeutic feeding centre. The hospital is extremely under-resourced, however, and providing adequate care is still a challenge.

To learn more about us, please visit our website at or for more specific queries please contact Fred at the email address below.

Interested candidates should please send a CV and cover letter by 1st September 2011 to Dr Fred Martineau at: fred(at)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Exciting News: Comic Relief Funds Welbodi

We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a large three-year grant from Comic Relief, a UK-based charity that supports global efforts to reduce poverty and social injustice. These much-needed funds will enable us to greatly expand our work at the Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH).

The bulk of the funds will go to support the Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health (SLICH), a collaboration between the Welbodi Partnership, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, and ODCH. Through SLICH, the Welbodi Partnership funds ideas submitted by ODCH staff for how to improve service provision at the hospital. Alongside this, we will continue to develop desperately-needed postgraduate training programs for doctors and nurses. A small but important part of the grant will be spent to nurture new relationships with local communities, build on our understanding of community health needs, and empower community members to participate in the process of innovating and implementing new approaches to improve child health. Finally, we will invest in developing robust monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure that we track outcomes and remain accountable to the fundamental goal of reducing needless child deaths.

We are extremely excited about this new phase of our work, and we look forward to working with Comic Relief and with our wonderful partners at ODCH and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to put this new funding to good use.