The year has passed again so fast. A lot has happened again, not only in the world, but also in Sierra Leone. And now is the time to put everything together.
Regarding eye care, there are a number of things that go on more or less continuously, but also new challenges:
- The first plans are made to also start working with Masanga hospital (http://www.masanga.nl/stichting/) for eye care. This is a hospital in the north of the country where the focus is mainly, accessible care and training of local nurses. For the time being, the doctors who work there are mainly Dutch tropical doctors. Berend has made all contacts to shape this collaboration.
‘gateway to Masanga Hospital’
- In the beginning of this year, Henk Veraart (ophthalmologist) came a for 2 weeks to transfer all his knowledge and skills, just like he did last year. This time he did not do it only in Lunsar eye hospital, but also in Masanga Hospital.
‘Dr Henk at work’
- Coming January, Pieter Slager (ophthalmologist) is planning to work in Sierra Leone for a minimum of one year. Dr. Wim will initially go with him for a few weeks to see how and where he will be settled. The FAD will support this.
- Collaboration with SECOM in Waterloo is constantly improving in quality, and they are now conducting cataract operations in hospitals where they rent an operating room so that they can work in a responsible way. Dr. Berend gave them a training in August.
‘The SECOM team with dr. Berend’
- The blind training also continues, this year another 30 people are trained, running independently (without supervision) and gardening / farming on a small scale. In this link a report of the blind training:CBR TRAINING 2019 -2 DIBIYYA, additionally after-care has also been set up this year for those who have already had training in previous years, to ensure that the skills will not fade away.
‘The blind training’
- The total number of cataract operations for people who could not afford it themselves was 411 this year.
- Eye drop production continues steadily, it remains a point of attention to improve this.
- And finally, Yannick van Lith worked for two weeks to upgrade the optician’s shop in the Lunsar hospital.
The individual courses all run steadily, there are no dropouts and everyone is very motivated.
- The 6 young men at the technical school (lead casting, surveying, welding, building and construction work) are now in their second year, this mainly consists of practical’s.
‘On the way to the practice places ‘
- Coming months they will prepare for the final exam, in July they will close the course.
- The nurses in training are doing well
- 8 nurses (including Antonio, about whom we reported last year) Public Health are now in their 2nd and final year.
- 3 nurses SRN are in their 2nd year of the three-year course, below a few reactions about the fact that they are supported by FAD.
‘Monjama, Adama en Rosaline’
“I am Monjama Gbappie, I am a second year student in college of medicine and allied health sience (COMAS). I lost my parents during the Ebola in Sierra Leone. I was admitted to the college to study for the state enrolled nursing course but I was unable to attend because I had no sponsor by then. Pastor Umary of Bo recommended me to FAD who now gave me a scholarship. Since them, I am now enrolled and successful in the second year. I am much grateful to FAD in Holland, who are my great sponsors. Without FAD Holland, providing fees and other assistance to me, I could not have even entered for the course”
“My name is Adama John, I am a beneficiary of the FAD Scholarship. I am an orphan and could not have entered for the state enrolled nursing course at COMAS if not for the support I receive from FAD. I am very grateful to Fad Holland and to FAD Sierra Leone”
“I am Rosaline Kargbo. I am a Sierra Leonean. My father was a teacher, he died in 2015. My mother is a poor woman. She depends of her gardening in the village and cater for my younger brother and sister. I completed my SECHN earlier. I was admitted to COMAS but did not have the money to pay my fees. A friend who went through GTZ nursing school in Waterloo, who was supported by FAD, directed me to the FAD team in S/L. I told FAD my problems and the FAD in Sierra Leone, recommended me to the FAD in Holland. I am very grateful to the FAD in Holland for accepting to pay for me, give me clothes and other assistance to continue with my course. I am now in the second year”
- Fatima, the woman we could have sent to the blind school last year, is doing well. She did have a psychological dip during the first year, but she is doing well now. Next year she can enroll in secondary school , for which it is necessary that she can type. We were able to hand over a typewriter for her to the head of the school. He will ensure that she learns to work on the typewriter.
- And finally Amadu, who is following a training as a cataract nurse, has successfully completed his first year. He is now doing a practical year in which he learns surgical techniques. If all goes well, he can start his second year in October.
The two medical posts that we support are doing well. Following on from Sumbuya, we decided this year also to support Masuri with medication. The government mainly deliveres to medical posts medicins for young children, pregnant women and malaria treatment. Almost all other medicines are not available in medical posts. So if people need medication, they have to go to the city to get it, this means in addition to the costs for the medication also costs for transport, and this is generally even more than the medication costs. Now that these two PHU’s can purchase the common medication themselves and be able to sell it for a small profit, the benefit is for several sides:
- The medical posts can buy new supplies from the proceeds and from the profits they can carry out minor maintenance on the posts
- Patients have to incur much less costs to obtain their medication because they do not need transportation
- Patients are more likely to go to a medical post because it can help them immediately.
A positive development that we will certainly continue to follow closely.
At the beginning of this year, FAD received hospital uniforms from the Scheper hospital in the Netherlands. We have been able to give these uniforms to a number of teams of medical posts. It was received with great enthusiasm. The hospital in Lunsar also received these uniforms.
Next year we will also give other medical posts in the area these uniforms.
After the disappointing harvest of last year’s rice, due to the insect plague, FAD has given agriculture a new start this year. The 13 hectares are now mainly used for the production of cassava. Cassava is used as the basis for many local dishes, both the leaf and the carrot.
“The cassava that is just coming up”
In addition, small quantities, cashews, corn, peppers, cucumbers, etc. are also grown.
All cassava roots were planted in April, so far they are growing as planned. The first cassava leaf was harvested in November.
“The first harvest of the cassava leaf”
Next year it will also be possible to harvest the roots. When the roots are harvested, they must be processed by a machine, ground into pulp, to be able to offer them on the market as a salable product. The FAD has pre-financed the machine for farmers. As it looks, they will be able to amply repay the machine from the proceeds of the end product. We hope for this group that the harvests will go well.
“The agricultural team in Fabaina”
The repayments of the microcredit come in drop by drop. It is a difficult process apart from a single village. In the coming year we are going to think about how we can better support people through a microcredit in order to get an income. Another challenge.
We would like to thank all those who have supported us with sportswear, hospital uniforms, typewriter, (baby) clothing, operating materials, financial gifts, etc. It is always heart warming.
Finally, we wish everyone a very healthy and pleasant 2020 and a warm greeting from beautiful Sierra Leone
Wim, James, Berend, AKK, Daniel, Bert & Beppie