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.