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.

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