Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Voluntary Positions Available for Consultant Paediatricians

Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Assignment Length: Minimum 3 months
Starting Date: To run consecutively from April 2012

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 key role in the development of Sierra Leone’s under graduate and postgraduate paediatric training programmes, producing the country’s future leaders in child health.

Job Description

The consultant paediatrician will champion the development of paediatric services, in Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH), Sierra Leone’s only specialist paediatric facility. In conjunction with the lead consultant for paediatric training, they will assist in the recently established postgraduate paediatric training programme and in the training of medical undergraduates.

Consultants will have general paediatric clinical commitments, during which there will be opportunities for teaching all cadres of health professionals and students and developing clinical services. They will be expected to contribute their expertise and support in the existing academic programmes.

The assignment will require a minimum of 3 months of clinical work in Sierra Leone. We would welcome applications from those who are able to commit for longer than 3 months.


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

1. Assist the lead consultant for paediatric training in facilitating postgraduate training by offering educational support to the hospital registrars and active participation in the postgraduate academic teaching programme.

2. Provide general inpatient and outpatient paediatric care. Engage in direct clinical work at a consultant level, running ward rounds and outpatient clinics. To receive referrals relevant to their area of sub-speciality from colleagues within the hospital. Out-of-hours commitments will be limited to telephone advice.

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. 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.

4. Clinical service development. Take joint responsibility with ODCH management and staff for implementing medical project work to improve patient care. This could include the development of sub-specialist paediatric services by running specialty clinics, advising on the appropriate equipping of hospital facilities and improving clinical care pathways relevant to their sub-specialty.

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

Person specification

1. Medical degree from a WHO-recognised medical school.
2. Consultant-level or equivalent qualification in Paediatrics – e.g. Fellow of the West African College of Physicians, Certificate of Completion of (Specialist) Training (UK), American Academy of Pediatrics board certification. We will gladly consider other suitable qualifications that are equivalent to FWACP.
3. Professional experience of healthcare in Africa or other low-resource setting.

4. Experience of teaching at postgraduate and undergraduate levels.
5. Demonstrable sub-specialisation or special interest within paediatrics in one of: cardiology, respiratory, haematology/oncology, endocrine, renal, metabolic or infectious diseases.
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 www.welbodipartnership.org. For more specific queries about this opportunity or a copy of our FAQs please contact Suzanne at the email address below.

Interested candidates should please send a CV and cover letter to Suzanne Thomas at: suzanne@welbodipartnership.org

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