Dr Sarah from Belgium came to Magbenteh Community Hospital in July 2017 to spend 2 months as a volunteer. Before leaving home, she carried out some fundraising activities in her local community to raise funds for the Swiss-Sierra Leone Development Foundation. Together with her Mother and Sister she raised several hundred euros in donations! During her time, here in Makeni she has also worked with local tailor to design an array of Africana styled laptop bags, handbags, phone cases and purses to sell back at home in aid of our projects. A friend of Sarah’s also provided her with colouring books, pencils and toys to distribute in the Children’s Ward and Under-Fives clinic. We are extremely grateful to Dr Sarah and her family for their wonderful efforts and support of our work.
Prior to volunteering with us at Magbenteh Community Hospital she studied medicine in Brussels, graduating in June 2017. Next month she is starting her internship in general practice, and we wish her all the very best.
Dr Sarah shares her experience of Sierra Leone:
“I spent two months working in the Out-Patients Department of Magbenteh Community Hospital. I treated a lot of patients, from young children to the elderly, with a large variety of sickness complaints and diseases. It enabled me to learn new things, especially about medical conditions which are uncommon in Europe.
I also experienced some challenges which made me realise the problems facing Sierra Leone’s health system; deficiency of financial aid and material resources, lack of information given to patients about preventable infectious diseases, the difficulty of referring patients to bigger hospitals in Freetown for proper management due to financial and logistical issues.
What I will nevertheless keep at the forefront of my mind is the enormous effort of the medical staff at Magbenteh Community Hospital to ensure that patients coming into the facility seeking help, will receive the best possible care. Working with such people was a very rewarding and interesting experience. I will miss it very much!
The team at Magbenteh Community Hospital is a big family, everyone works together in harmony and supports each other in times of challenge. I feel very grateful and blessed to have been part of it.”