Monday, December 31, 2012

Last chance to give in 2012...

31 December 2012. The year is drawing to a close. And that means that this is your last opportunity to donate money towards the x-ray project this year. Please help us improve the only government run Children's Hospital in Sierra Leone. The money donated will go directly to the x-ray project. We're getting closer to our goal, can you help us reach it?

If you are from the UK (or elsewhere outside of the USA) and would like to make a tax deductible donation you can at: http://www.justgiving.com/xrayappeal

If you are from the USA and would like to make a tax deductible donation you can at: JustGive. (make sure program says: welbodi partnership and you can dedicate the money to the x-ray project.

2012 is almost over, but you can still make a difference. Help us help others.

Thank you for all of you support in 2012. We are looking forward to an amazing 2013.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

3 days left in 2012...


I can't believe there are only 3 days left in 2012! That also means, only 3 days left to GIVE this year. Does anyone want to help provide x-ray equipment to the only Children's hospital in Sierra Leone? Donate a little to bring about BIG change. Go to: http://www.justgiving.com/xrayappeal

Thank you on behalf of the children in Sierra Leone, the Welbodi Partnership and the Children's Hospital.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Accessorize this Christmas…


Did you buy amazing accessories to go with your Christmas outfit this year?

We are still hoping to buy the needed accessories so that we can bring a brand new digital x-ray to the Children’s Hospital in style. We need your help as many accessories are still needed such as: lead aprons and gloves, thyroid collars and protective eyewear, lead blockers, table pad and positioning blocks. Can you contribute a little more towards accessories this year?

It’s easy: go to http://www.justgiving.com/xrayappeal and donate what you can for this great cause.

This Christmas you can help the Children’s hospital in Sierra Leone by helping us make an x-ray department a reality!

To read our holiday appeal go to: http://eepurl.com/s3EaH

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stocking stuffers for the x-ray project...



Imagine that you are setting up a new x-ray department in a hospital that has not done x-rays in the past 8 years. Visualize what the department might look like. Yes, that’s right, it is rather empty. We are hoping that you can help us change that.

As you know we are raising money for a brand new digital x-ray machine, which in itself is a very big and exciting gift for the Children’s hospital. Along with a big gift at Christmas time come the little gifts, the stocking stuffers. Can you help us raise money for the smaller items that are needed to run this facility in the New Year? 

Money donated will go towards the overall x-ray project, which includes the purchase of the following smaller items:

Lead aprons (USD 200), Gloves (USD 160), Thyroid collars (USD 75), Protective eyewear (USD 165), Various markers (USD 10), Positioning block set (USD 270), Table pad (USD 110), Lead blockers (USD 50) and more.

Donate here: http://www.justgiving.com/xrayappeal Your help is greatly appreciated.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Special Holiday Appeal...

Dear Friends and Supporters,

All of us at the Welbodi Partnership would like to wish you and your family good health and happiness during this festive season, and to thank you for helping us share this good fortune with the children we serve.

2012 is coming to a close and we would also like to close the gap and raise the remaining funds we need to fully fund our project to establish a functioning x-ray department at the Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH). As you may recall, very sick children must now travel miles across Freetown – through traffic and crowds and the overwhelming hustle-and-bustle of this busy urban area – just to get an x-ray to diagnose their condition. This taxing journey is an unacceptable burden for tiny bodies already weakened by illness, and it causes dangerous delays in diagnosis and treatment. The very sickest children often cannot make the trip at all.

With your help, we can ensure that by this time next year, patients at ODCH and the neighboring maternity hospital will have access to life-saving on-site x-ray facilities.

Dr. Anne Nesbitt, a Welbodi volunteer supported by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, recently made the trip to get an x-ray with young Alhaji and his mother (seen in picture above). The trek across town left Alhaji feeling even more unwell than he was before, and it took him several days to recover. We would like to share their story in order to show the importance of this project and how with your help, we can make a difference.
"18-month-old Alhaji has septic arthritis of his shoulder. We had no option but to walk with Alhaji being carried on the back of his mum to Connaught Hospital, several obstacle-strewn miles across Freetown. Within 50 yards of ODCH, my phone was stolen. Half-way along Fourah Bay Road, Alhaji's mum's flip flops broke, so we had to buy new ones before we could continue. We negotiated the mayhem of Sani Abacha Street and finally got a taxi the last half mile to Connaught.

On the way back, no taxi would agree to take us to the East End, so we trekked back through short cuts. At one point, traffic was heavy on Sani Abacha, and our leap to avoid a lorry resulted in the demolition of a stack of margarine cartons and a stiff lecture (to me) from the market ladies. The journey back took an hour."

On a regular basis, families with children much sicker than Alhaji make this journey for x-rays, delaying diagnosis and putting their health and safety at risk. This is clearly untenable, and the sooner we can establish an in-house ODCH x-ray service, the better. Can you give a little toward this effort?

Thank you again for all your support this year.


Warmest holiday wishes,
The Welbodi Team


http://www.justgiving.com/xrayappeal

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Latest plans for X-ray: getting closer...

I realize it is high time for another x-ray project update. The great news is that with your help, we have managed to secure almost 70% of the funds for the entire x-ray project. THANK YOU!

As you can imagine, this is a huge projects with many different aspects to it such as equipment, infrastructure, installation, training, human resources, radiation protection approval etc.  Inevitably this means we need to raise a substantial amount of money. With your help, I know we can do this.

Unfortunately we recently heard that the building currently designated for radiology is scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt in February 2013. This is likely to take 18 – 24 months to complete meaning we need to find a ‘temporary’ place to install and operate the x-ray machine. Due to a shortage of rooms available within the hospital, we plan to use a container as a temporary x-ray department. Fortunately we found a company that is specialized in modifying containers for this purpose and also the company installing the machine is willing to re-install the equipment in the new building, once it has been completed. Honestly, this has been a challenge but it is a challenge that we and the hospital can fortunately overcome. So, although this change of plans has delayed our project a bit and has led to an increase in the budget, we are well on our way to making the x-ray facility a reality. We are hopeful that by April 2013 this department will be up and running.

Can you help us raise the remaining funds needed for this very important project?

Join us. Help us improve healthcare for the children of Sierra Leone. And help us get a step closer to obtaining accreditation for the hospital as a training institution.

Donate at:
http://www.justgiving.com/xrayappeal

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The journey to a diagnosis


The Welbodi Partnership continues to raise funds to establish a functioning xray department at the Ola During Children's Hospital (ODCH). Currently, very sick children must travel miles across Freetown – through traffic and crowds and the overwhelming hustle-and-bustle of this busy urban area – just to get an x-ray to diagnose their condition.

Dr. Anne Nesbitt, a Welbodi volunteer, recently made the trip across town  to get an x-ray with young Alhaji and his mother (seen in picture above). The trek across town left Alhaji feeling even more unwell than he was before, and it took him several days to recover. We would like to share their story in order to show the importance of this project and how with your help, we can make a difference.

"18-month-old Alhaji has septic arthritis of his shoulder. We had no option but to walk with Alhaji being carried on the back of his mum to Connaught Hospital, several obstacle-strewn miles across Freetown. Within 50 yards of ODCH, my phone was stolen. Half-way along Fourah Bay Road, Alhaji's mum's flip flops broke, so we had to buy new ones before we could continue. We negotiated the mayhem of Sani Abacha Street and finally got a taxi the last half mile to Connaught.
On the way back, no taxi would agree to take us to the East End, so we trekked back through short cuts. At one point, traffic was heavy on Sani Abacha, and our leap to avoid a lorry resulted in the demolition of a stack of margarine cartons and a stiff lecture (to me) from the market ladies. The journey back took an hour."

On a regular basis, families with children much sicker than Alhaji make this journey for x-rays, taxing their already weakened bodies and causing dangerous delays in diagnosis and treatment. This is clearly untenable, and the sooner we can minimise these trips with an in-house ODCH x-ray service, the better.

Can you give a little toward this effort?


Friday, September 28, 2012

Welbodi Partnership at the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Health

One of the challenges faced by the staff in health facilities in Sierra Leone is that a proportion of children are brought in when they are already very sick, often with infections like malaria and pneumonia.  Despite the staff's best efforts, it is hard to treat these children arriving late in their illness and, tragically, many die.


Members of the Welbodi Partnership team wanted to explore why this is happening and have been conducting a research study over the past 6 months, which includes house-to-house surveys of caregivers of children under 5 and in depth interviews with some of these caregivers about the choices that they make when their child has a fever.

Whilst the analysis is still ongoing, Dr Fred Martineau and Dr Emily Spry were able to present preliminary results last week at the national conference of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at Warwick University.  Dr Sandra Lako is the third member of the research team.

Watch this space for news on further publication of their findings, which we hope will be useful to the Welbodi Partnership, the Children's Hospital and other partners in Freetown.


Welbodi Partnership to launch joint appeal with UECF

The Children's Hospital Playroom
The Welbodi Partnership are delighted to announce that we will be launching a joint appeal with Universal Exports Charity Foundation (UECF), an independent charity established in London by the Good Governance Group (G3).

Lord Paddy Ashdown, UECF and the Welbodi Partnership will host a dinner in late November 2012 to launch the appeal.

The results will ensure that Sierra Leone's national Children's Hospital can meet the standards of the West African College of Physicians to provide training for young doctors to become fully-fledged Paediatricians, a key aim of Welbodi and our partners.

Sierra Leone, which has an estimated 1 million children, currently has only one specialist children's doctor in government service.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

X-ray Project - Update & Appeal


The Welbodi Partnership would like to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the x-ray project – and a plea to those of you who haven’t yet given, to please do so now.

We are getting close to the target that will enable us to provide an X-ray Department for the national children’s hospital of Sierra Leone – please help us reach it!

When we circulated our appeal in July to raise funds for this project, a charitable foundation expressed interest in donating a large sum of money, under the condition that their donation would be matched by other sources. The good news is that the foundation recently agreed to release the money even though we had not yet raised all the matching funds. This is very exciting, but it means we need to continue our fundraising efforts to ensure that a functioning x-ray department can be put in place at the Ola During Children’s Hospital.

We have certainly come a long way. With the foundation’s donation and what we have raised from people like you, we are now 75% of the way to our total goal of £120,000. We would especially like to thank Graham and Mia Wrigley for hosting the Picnic and Pimms event, which raised over £8,000 for this project. We would also like to thank the Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health for its generous contribution of £10,000. And we would like to thank the Fox family and the Rosslare Parish Church for raising  £2000 pounds. And finally, our friends and supporters for donating £8,760 through the justgiving site in only 2 months.   

Would you (or someone you know) like to help us meet that goal and be a part of this exciting project?

An x-ray department will provide sick children with direct access to x-rays, enabling doctors to diagnose conditions more accurately and provide optimal treatment. It is also crucial for the accreditation of the country’s only children’s hospital as a training institution.

The money you donate will go directly towards the x-ray project and be used to:
-       Purchase a robust, up-to-date digital x-ray maching
-       Fund an experienced radiographer to train national staff on the ground
-       Ensure adherence to radiation protection requirements and training of a safety officer
-       Provide essential infrastructure including a separate generator for the x-ray machine, air-conditioning units and a control booth

Join us. Help us improve healthcare for the children of Sierra Leone!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Introducing Welbodi's newest team member


We are excited to welcome our newest team member: Roderick Labicane, more popularly known as Dickya.

Dickya is a registered nurse from the Philippines with a Master's Degree in Clinical Supervision. He is no stranger to Sierra Leone. He spent the last year and a half volunteering with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) as a Clinical Nurse Tutor in Eastern Polytechnic School of Nursing and Kenema Government Hospital. During that time he delivered a series of workshops and trainings in Kenema as well as district hospitals throughout Sierra Leone. Welbodi staff and two nurses from the Ola During Children’s Hospital joined Dickya for one of those workshops and experienced his excellent teaching skills first hand.

Dickya joined Welbodi in September 2012 as a Nurse Educator and will oversee the capacity building activities for the 150+ nurses at the Ola During Children's Hospital. He will develop in-service modules in paediatric nursing and train national nurse educators to help deliver these. We look forward to seeing this unfold.

Welcome to the team Dickya!

Would you like to get involved? Contact info@welbodipartnership.org

Monday, September 24, 2012

Running and giving, giving and running

We are excited and grateful to Claire Monk, who is training for a 10k race in Edinburgh in October to raise funds for the Welbodi Partnership. She has already surpassed her fundraising goal (114% and counting!), and we're sure she's going to lead the pack on October 7th.

If you want to support Claire's efforts on behalf of Welbodi, visit her fundraising page. All donations go to support our work. 

If you want to run a race (or enter a dance-at-thon, knit-off, or any other fun fundraising event) to help raise money for the Welbodi Partnership, contact us and we can provide advice and materials -- and help cheer you on.

And on that note: good luck Claire, and thanks!



Friday, September 21, 2012

Research shows a reduction of inpatient mortality after the introduction of Emergency care...


New research shows that relative simple interventions can dramatically decrease hospital mortality rates. The effect of these improvements in emergency care was analysed by a team of researchers in Freetown and London. This research showed a 47% reduction in mortality rate after the improvements in emergency care. It is estimated over a 100 children’s lives were saved in the first two months alone. In addition to examining the number of lives saved, the researchers also estimated the cost of saving a child was $148.


Dr Matthew Clark, lead author on the paper and director of The Welbodi Partnership says, “These results are very exciting. When a team of international volunteers works in close collaboration with local partners, amazing results can be achieved. Ultimately these results are a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the staff at The Ola During Children’s Hospital.”

“Poverty, overcrowding, poor sanitation and malnutrition, in low income countries, results in a huge number of children becoming acutely sick. Many of these sick children need to be treated in hospital”

“Surprisingly, there is hardly any research about how to improve the care children receive when they get to hospital. International agencies tend to focus their resources on preventive measures, as these are perceived to be the most cost effective ways of saving children’s lives. This research shows that improving the quality of hospital care is another highly cost-effective way of saving lives.”

With over half a million hospital beds in Sub-Saharan Africa, many of them providing sub-standard care, the expansion of such programmes could save large numbers of lives and help accelerate progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4”

The findings were reported in the scientific journal PLoS ONE and represented a commitment by The Welbodi Partnership to undertake rigorous research of their programmes and share these findings in peer-reviewed journals.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Appeal for an X-ray system...

As you may know, the Ola During Children’s Hospital does not have an x-ray department. Patients in need of x-rays have to travel across town, a journey of up to one hour, which leads to a delay in the diagnostic process. Seriously ill patients cannot make this journey and miss out on these crucial tests and therefore, optimal treatment.

The total cost of installing a digital x-ray machine and training local staff to use it is £120,000. 


It excites me to let you know that we have already secured half the funds for the project from a charitable foundation. However, to access these funds we have to match these contributions by raising another £60,000 (USD 95,000) in the next two months.

This is a unique opportunity for you to double your money. If you would like to donate, please go to: http://www.justgiving.com/xrayappeal Any money donated through this page will go directly to this appeal.

Thank you for your support!

Welbodi at Chilworth - Saturday 30th June 2012



A glorious sunny evening saw over 200 people enjoying the sounds and
setting of Chilworth manor nestled in the Surrey countryside.

People, picnics and blankets were scattered around the immaculate grounds with
everyone enjoying music from the Freetones and Froken Lundstedt.

The Freetones kickstarted the evening with a fantastic line up getting
everyone in the mood to relax and enjoy a (let's be honest) rare
British summer evening. As the evening went on, more and more people
kicked off their shoes and took to the dancefloor.

Chilworth manor was the perfect setting for such a night and the hosts
couldn't have been more welcoming to enjoy their home and grounds.





Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Special event on June 30th: A Midsummer Concert



Live music, a beautiful setting, and a great cause


Saturday, 30th June 2012 at Chilworth Manor in Guildford, UK


All proceeds benefit the Welbodi Partnership and other worthy charities

Picnics and Pimm's is a wonderful way to enjoy a summer evening with live music from around the world. Thanks to the generosity of the hosts, 100% of the money raised goes directly to a few charities hand-picked by the organizers. The Welbodi Partnership team is thrilled and grateful to have been selected as one of this year's recipients.

Featured bands on the 30th include the Freetones, a musical collective straight from Freetown. Enjoy the group's laid back approach fusing African beats, reggae licks, and pop tunes. You may just want to kick off your shoes and dance in the fresh summer air. Joining the Freetones on stage will be Froken Lundstedt, a Swedish band playing international sounds from Gloria Gaynor to Creedence, and of course a bit of ABBA.


Tickets are £20 for Saturday night and are available by post or in Guildford. For more details, please visit the event website.

We hope you will join us for this special event.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Congrats to our London 10K runners!

In beautiful sunshine and sweltering heat, our intrepid team ran 10k along the Olympic 2012 route through London early this Sunday morning....

Team Welbodi: Ready for action!














CONGRATULATIONS and many thanks to our wonderful runners!

Medals and smiles for all at the finish














If you haven't done so yet, please do click on the runners' names below to sponsor them....


And money raised for sick kids - a great morning's work!















To reward Team Welbodi for their blisters.... click on a name to donate online.  Thank you!

Viviana Olivetto 
Helen Rehr
Caitlin McQuilling
Baljinder Singh
Marieke Heijnen
Claire Studley Scott

If you would be interested in taking part in similar future events, drop us a line: sebastian.wilson@welbodipartnership.org

Thursday, May 10, 2012

President Ernest Bai Koroma on free health care

Sierra Leone's president writes in the HuffPost about why the free healthcare initiative was so important to him, what it has achieved so far, and the vital role of international partners in its past and future success. Welbodi is thrilled to be one of these partners, working with the government and ministry of health to bring lifesaving healthcare to those who need it.

Thanks, President Koroma for your leadership on this issue!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vacancy: Paediatric Nurse Educator

Are you a Paediatric Nurse who wants to help us improve child healthcare at the national Children's Hospital in Sierra Leone?

 The Welbodi Partnership is looking for a Paediatric Nurse Educator.

 Photo:  Nick Fletcher











 The Welbodi Partnership is a UK charity that supports child health care in Sierra Leone through the Sierra Leone Institute for Child Health (SLICH). SLICH is a joint project between the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ola During Children’s Hospital 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 and is funded by Comic Relief and others.
  
Ola During is Sierra Leone’s only children’s hospital and is located in the poor and densely-populated eastern part of Freetown. More than 15,000 patients are treated at the hospital each year. The hospital is under-resourced and providing adequate care is an on-going challenge.

The Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health (SLICH) has a vacancy for a nurse educator, with significant experience in paediatrics and in developing countries, to develop in-service modules in paediatric nursing for the nurses of the national Children’s Hospital in Sierra Leone and to train national nurse educators to help deliver these.

This rewarding position offers a unique opportunity to be involved in the development of human and institutional capacity, crucial for the rebuilding of the health system in Sierra Leone.  The successful candidate will be employed and managed by the Welbodi Partnership, a UK registered charity, on behalf of SLICH.


Email emily@welbodipartnership.org if you have further questions.

To apply, please email a CV and covering letter by Sunday 27th May 2012 for the attention of Dr Emily Spry to emily@welbodipartnership.org.

Volunteers Needed in Sierra Leone

Are you a healthcare professional or healthcare manager who wants to help us improve child healthcare in Sierra Leone?

The Welbodi Partnership is looking for someone to join our team in Freetown for a year as a Technical Advisor.

Photo: Brian Sokol 
The Welbodi Partnership is a UK charity that supports child health care in Sierra Leone through the Sierra Leone Institute for Child Health (SLICH). SLICH is a joint project between the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ola During Children’s Hospital 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 and is funded by Comic Relief and others.
  

Ola During is Sierra Leone’s only children’s hospital and is located in the poor and densely-populated eastern part of Freetown. More than 15,000 patients are treated at the hospital each year. The hospital is under-resourced and providing adequate care is an on-going challenge.


We are seeking a healthcare professional or manager to fill the role of Technical Advisor.  You will work in a core team of five at the Children’s Hospital that includes a mix of national and international staff and volunteers led by the Welbodi Partnership Project Manager.

As Technical Advisor at the Welbodi Partnership, you will have a direct and significant impact on the quality of care provided to children both at the hospital and throughout the paediatric healthcare system. You will be part of building young organization from the ground up, of identifying and implementing high-impact interventions -- including quality training for Sierra Leone's young doctors and nurses -- and of building a foundation for lasting change.

Please download the job description and dowload the application form.

Email emily@welbodipartnership.org if you have further questions.

To apply, please email a completed Application Form by 27th May 2012 for the attention of Dr Emily Spry to emily@welbodipartnership.org.

CVs will not be considered for shortlisting.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Join Team Welbodi




We are excited to announce that there are places available in The Welbodi Partnership Team for the Bupa London 10k on the 27th of May.
Following part of the 2012 Olympic circuit and running through London’s most famous streets (with not a car in sight), this is a highlight in any runner’s calendar.
The Welbodi Partnership is growing and you can be part of that growth. By taking part and raising money through sponsorship we can continue to save the lives of children in Sierra Leone.
As well as supporting a fantastic cause the day will be great fun for runners and spectators alike. For information on how to apply and details of how we can help you prepare ring Seb on 07990 500 277 or email sebastian.wilson@welbodipartnership.org.
Official entry has closed and our places are limited so act quickly. 
See you there!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reconstruction of the Special Care Baby Unit


A somewhat belated birth announcement: 

On the 12th of December 2011, the Minister of Health and Sanitation was invited to the Ola During Children’s Hospital to attend a ceremony to officially handover the new neonatal unit to the Ministry.


In the previous months, many people worked hard to improve the neonatal unit. The original unit was small and cramped, with limited beds for neonates and no place for the mothers to stay. In order to increase capacity and to improve the quality of care provided to our smallest patients, the hospital and its partners decided to make some significant changes. With funding from UNFPA and oversight from Welbodi Partnership, the old neonatal ward was transformed into a mothers’ lodge and the adjacent maternity ward was vacated to accommodate a new, upgraded neonatal ward. The much-needed reconstruction project doubled the size of the unit and provided a separate outpatient consultation room, an isolation room, a place for mothers to stay near their children, and more space overall.

So it was with great excitement and enthusiasm that the UNFPA country representative handed over the unit to the Minister of Health and Sanitation. The ceremony was followed by a tour through the new Special Care Baby Unit which now has the capacity for 40 neonates. This new unit is a step in the right direction to improving neonatal care in Sierra Leone.