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

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.