On my final day here in Sierra Leone, the new emergency room is opening. It is an exciting moment . . . the additional beds will double EMERGENCY’s capacity to care for trauma and critical cases in Goderich. As the country’s main trauma referral hospital, the added space will be a critical addition.
Prior to coming, it was hard for me to believe that a single hospital could have an impact on an entire country. And now I have witnessed it for myself. Nearly half a million people have been treated since the hospital opened and every patient is treated with the same dignity and respect. The dedicated international staff not only provide health services and procedures not available in the rest of the country, but they also pass on their knowledge to the national staff in training as they work side by side.
What has touched my heart most during this visit has been hearing the stories of individual patients. Two days ago, I visited a public hospital located in Freetown. I was approached by a man who was distraught. His wife had been in an accident the day before, and she would not receive any treatment until he was able to find the funds to pay the daily admission fee, purchase medications for his wife, and pay in advance for her surgery.
Healthcare is not a commodity, it is a human right— and that is why EMERGENCY offers quality care free-of-charge to as many patients as the facility can hold.
But it is not enough. EMERGENCY’s hospital is always operating at full capacity, and the third operating room (OR) remains closed for lack of sufficient funds. For the cost of a single luxury vehicle, the remaining needed surgical equipment could be purchased. Four hundred more surgeries could be performed every year, and 4000 lives would be touched.
We need your help. Every donation counts.
Lara Jacobson, MD
Goderich, Sierra Leone
Board of Directors – EMERGENCY USA
Are you a physician? EMERGENCY is recruiting experienced pediatricians to work at our hospital in Sierra Leone as well as at our other locations, click here to learn more and apply. If you would like to contribute to life-saving surgery in Sierra Leone, please click here to donate now.