Providing a hospital and community based healthcare
Describe the need affecting community
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world. An estimated 1 in 6 children will die before their 5th birthday. Less than 200 doctors serve a population of nearly 6 million people. Access to health care is often limited by both geographical location and ability to pay for medical services. In Sierra Leone, a child dies every 12 minutes, often from treatable illnesses such as malnutrition, dehydration or malaria. A woman in Sierra Leone is 100 times more likely to die in childbirth than a woman in the US. Nearly half of all children in Sierra Leone are permanently stunted from chronic malnutrition.
Describe the primary goal of the project
Mercy Hospital’s mission is to improve infant, child and maternal health in Sierra Leone by providing holistic, community focused care, regardless of ability to pay. Mercy Hospital is working with the UMC in Sierra Leone to develop a health care system with community- based care in the Bo region. The long-term goal is to empower communities to care for themselves through knowledge and prevention, and provide critical support to those needing more intense treatment. Mercy Hospital has already begun to establish the foundation for a “hub and spoke” system whereby the hospital provides support to the city and rural villages at the peripheral health units (the “spokes) through regular medical outreach clinics. Cases are referred to Mercy Hospital (the “hub”) as necessary, for more intensive care.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
Mercy Hospital hopes to become a hub of quality health care for the Bo community. The vision of Mercy Hospital is to provide quality and holistic care to all in the Bo community regardless of ability to pay. Through the work of Mercy Hospital, we envision a community with significantly lower maternal and child mortality rates and an improvement in the overall health.