Wednesday, November 27, 2013

News from the X-ray Department by Abdul Sakpa: X-ray Technician

My past experience I have gathered is from the Emergency Surgical Centre where I was trained and worked as an X-Ray Technician with a manual X-Ray Machine, by which we normally used a cassette to expose X-Ray film and go to the dark room for film processing, Therefore we will have to spend some time in preparing the result for the Doctor to make a quick decision on the Patient.

With the new Digital X-Ray Machine which is a modern technology, it produces good Quality images and makes work easier for the technician, it also produces fast results which can facilitate the Doctors to make a decision on patient.

By working in this new X-Ray department I see myself into another level, as I am exposed to new technology I believe it will extend my experience by working with this Digital X-Ray Machine rather than using an X-Ray Cassette or going to the darkroom for film processing.             
It is very beneficial to have an X-Ray Department in the Hospital rather than going somewhere else. From my understanding, patient used to go for X-Ray examination at the Connaught Hospital, which was a disadvantage on the part of (O.D.C.H), in this process by which Patient were used to going a long distance, that might cause a patient to die on their way. But by having the X-Ray department in the Hospital Patient and Relative are benefiting greatly from this facility.
I hope to see the Hospital extend a helping hand to those Hospitals that do not have the X-Ray facility, to also consider adult patients, because this has been the only facility around the community, to also provide printer in other to produce hard copy result for patients. Considering the nature of the job, staff encouragement should be the top most priority.  


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

News from the annual Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association Meeting

From the 13th-15th of November the Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association held their 39th Annual Congress and Scientific Meeting. This years theme was: “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Sierra Leone: A Critical Look at the Health Workforce”. Welbodi’s Senior Technical Advisor, Dr. Lako, attended the event, allowing her to network with other doctors in the country as well as listen to the various scientific sessions to hear about some of the research being done in Sierra Leone at this time. During the opening ceremony the Minister of Health highlighted the fact that there are very few specialists in the public sector; for example there are only two Sierra Leonean paediatricians in government service. The Minister said that much work lies ahead to address the problems in the health sector and the next phase in the journey has just begun. She stated: “we now have an opportunity to adequately address the human resource crisis by actively pursuing accreditation and continuing to support students overseas”. Currently 8 Sierra Leonean doctors are pursuing their postgraduate training in paediatrics in West, East and South Africa. Hopefully by the end of 2014 some of them will be ready to return back to Sierra Leone to support training in country. The need for in-country postgraduate training was highlighted once again, which is something Welbodi has been focusing on over the years. Hopefully with support from the Ministry of Health, tertiary hospital staff and NGOs, in-country postgraduate training will become a reality in 2014.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DEADLINE EXTENDED for Project Design and Grant Writing Internship

The Welbodi Partnership are recruiting a Project Design and Grant Writing Intern. We are looking for someone to lead on our large grants program, which provides essential income for our current projects and new initiatives. This position would be suitable for someone with professional writing or grant writing experience and an interest in international development or global health.

If you are interested or know someone who might be, download the full job description below.

Download full job spec

Friday, November 8, 2013

Meet the Team - Rachael

Rachael Benson

Social Media and Fundraising Intern

What were you doing before you came to work for the Welbodi Partnership?
Before coming here I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology. Since graduating, I have carried out a number of volunteering roles, one of which being in an international development organisation.     

What motivated you to come and work here?
During my time at university I became interested in global health, and became keen to gain experience in an international charity. I was particularly interested in interning with the Welbodi Partnership because I like its approach of working closely with people and existing institutions in Sierra Leone. Getting involved in the social media and fundraising side is something I’m very excited about, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Charity is doctor's healthy obsession - Old Joe Magazine

Matthew Clark has been interviewed by Old Joe, the University of Birmingham's Alumni magazine. He discusses founding the Welbodi Partnership, and the problems he had to face and the achievements of the charity so far.

Alumnus of the Year Matthew Clark was still a student when he founded a charity that has raised more than £1 million to transform an African children's hospital.

When Matthew Clark (BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences, 2002) arrived at the Ola During Children's Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on an elective placement as part of his medical degree, he was unprepared for what he would find. The civil war had ended five years earlier but there was no running water, sporadic electricity and a lack of essential medical equipment.

In a country with the worst infant mortality rate in the world (one in four children dies before the age of five) it was vital something was done. Many of the facilities needed were in place but had not been completed during a post-war refurbishment.
Read the full article here.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Meet the team: Dickya

Dickya is a registered nurse from the Philippines with a Master's Degree in Clinical Supervision. As a Nurse Educator he oversees the capacity building activities for more than 150 nurses at the Children's Hospital.

In the year since I have been working at the hospital I can see that the nurses are more involved with the training. In the past it was a real struggle to get them to attend but now participation is much better. When I first started I was doing all the organising and preparing for the sessions by myself but since I launched the mentorship program in March the nurses are the ones in charge. There has been a shift, now I am just there to support them. It empowers the nurses because they own the training themselves. We no longer call it Welbodi training but instead it is the hospital training.

I have learnt a lot from working with the Welbodi Partnership. There are a lot of challenges in my job so I am constantly problem-solving and thinking of new strategies. I have learnt to be innovative and to think outside the box. For example, changing nurses’ attitudes has been difficult. Currently, they are still underpaid and undervalued in Sierra Leone and this affects their motivation. So as part of my role I have been looking at legislation and trying to make sure they receive a basic salary and health benefits. This is a new skill for me; I never knew anything about laws before! But if we can show the nurses that society values the work that they do hopefully it will improve their morale. I have also been working on establishing a reward system to recognise the hardest working staff. Financial incentives alone are not enough so I have been thinking of more creative solutions. Nurses received ministry-recognised certificates for completing training and those with perfect attendance were given new uniforms.