Poor people who cannot afford to pay for surgery, flooded the doors of the Bo Government Hospital when five Cameroonians, three Sierra Leoneans and two American doctors, all belonging to the Sierra Leone Diaspora Medical Mission carried out free surgical operations at the hospital from 1st to 5th June.
Led by the Sierra Leonean, Abu Minah, who resides in South Africa, the team carried out surgical operations like ‘Hysterectomy, Hernia, Appendix, Myomectomy, Hydrocelectomy, Caesearean, Hypoma, Exploratory Lapratomy’ and other medical conditions. The team also undertook treatment for ‘hypertension, ulcer and diabetes.’
Added to that, the self-supported project, in partnership with Njala University, also trained 180 Community Health Officers and 50 Nurses on ‘Emergency Medical Services and IPC. The team also donated medical Items to the Bo Government Hospital.
Head of the Sierra Leone Diaspora Missions, Abu B Minah, bragged to AYV: “We came ready to help the impoverished.” He said it pains him when people die of sicknesses that are curable by simply contacting the right trained person. The people, he said, are so poor such that “they cannot afford to pay their medical bill.” He said that it was due to that reason that patients flooded the hospital. “There are lots of people that are impoverished and that cannot afford to do operations.”
And dealing with the hundreds of people that came was the major problem. “even if we were to continue for six months, we would still have more people coming.”
The Administrative Head of this particular mission, Josephine Garnem-Torbay, told AYV that the mission was here “because we have to give back and as diaspora member we know the issues and solutions.”
With the goal of the mission being “to train” and “to strengthen the health system” she opined that Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora know that people within the country need them in all aspects. She added that it was now time for Africans to start helping other Africans and that was the reason why Cameroonian doctors were among them. It is “not all the time white people have to come and help us, we Africans have to help by giving back to Africa what we have learned. We want to see Africans giving back to Africa.” Alongside with Dr Minah, she uttered: “This is what we call brain-gain.”
She said that the mission was undertaking the project so “that we can encourage others to do the same thing.” She explained that it was important for the others to do likewise because “the needs of our people are great and that is a problem.” She also singled out that as the major challenge in their five days work in Bo.