In January 2018, with the support of two private donors, the Family Planning clinic will reopen at Magbenteh Community Hospital, providing free contraception and safe abortion to women in Bombali District, empowering them to choose for themselves and determine their futures.
The original Family Planning Clinic at Magbenteh Community Hospital was closed as a result of the Ebola epidemic, in which the staffs in charge of the department died from the virus. As part of SSLDF’s Post-Ebola Recovery Plan, we have been able to reach out to donors and encourage the restart this important service and train new staffs.
Daniel Waldvogel and Joerg Furrer recently visited Sierra Leone. Through Daniel’s contacts with Medihelp they were able to donate a large supply of drugs and medication to Magbenteh Community Hospital, to assist in the efforts to reduce both the maternal mortality rate as well as unwanted pregnancies in a country where only 21% of women aged 15-49 are using a method of modern contraception.
By reestablishing the Family Planning clinic at Magbenteh Community Hospital, our staff will be able to sensitize women about how to plan a family and take control of their lives, especially considering the current economic instability of Sierra Leone alongside the dangers of pregnancy. Furthermore, women are more likely to give birth safely in our medical facility at their time of pregnancy instead of in their villages.
Mary Palmer, as Deputy Matron and Midwife for Magbenteh Community Hospital, will lead on the day to day running of the clinic. She explains its vital need; “Having a family planning service will create a ‘one stop shop’ for women as well as benefiting the hospital as a whole. Our facility will serve the surrounding villages and educate not only the women but also the communities in which they reside.
By offering contraception to mothers after giving birth in our maternity ward, educating during the antenatal process, combined with the location of the clinic next to the under-fives health care room, we will be able to protect more women and give them the ability to make their own decisions and choose for themselves. I recently visited a woman who had a cesarean section three months ago and is already pregnant with her second child. This example couldn’t express the need any greater.”
Daniel and Joerg are committed to the future of Magbenteh Community Hospital, with Joerg making a very generous cash donation to the hospital’s work during his visit. The Makeni Polio Tailoring Workshops are working on a project of creating a range of Africana lapa styled bags, laptop cases, purses and wallets to use for their fundraising purposes in Europe. We are extremely grateful for their efforts and look forward to a long lasting partnership.