EMERGENCY USA Board President Anna Gilmore recently attended the EMERGENCY 2014 International Conference in Milan. Here is her report back about where we are and where we are going in Sierra Leone:
Program coordinator Luca Rolla led this presentation via Skype, and was on stage was Avril, a Sierra Leonean professional (who is based in Canada) who gave a moving commentary regarding the importance of EMERGENCY’s model and presence. A short film was screened and the presenters added comments and insights including the following updates.
The President of Sierra Leone recently visited the surgical and pediatric facility of EMERGENCY in Goderich, and his positive impression led to his invitation to EMERGENCY to rapidly establish and manage more medical facilities with the support of the Health Ministry in providing staffing and funding for equipment needed.
The plans are underway to open a clinical facility in Lakka (in the vicinity of Freetown, south of Goderich) to provide much-needed medical care. Second, the goal will be to open a dedicated Ebola treatment center to be managed by EMERGENCY by the end of October. The process is underway for both initiatives. In the meantime, eleven of twelve districts in Sierra Leone have recorded Ebola Cases, and at the time of the presentation, the hospital in Goderich remained the sole facility offering medical and surgical care to all patients in need. The case load was described as phenomenal.