Hemos recibido una carta del Hno. Michael que os puede ser interesante para conocer la situación actual de nuestro centro de Sierra Leona.
Dicha carta empieza con el relato de la celebración en Port Loko de la jornada de clausura del “Mes misionero” que el Papa Francisco ha querido resaltar en este mes de Octubre que concluimos.
Continúa con la buena noticia de que estamos a punto de poder enviar un técnico a Mabesseneh para la reparación de la autoclave, ya que su avería está afectando la buena marcha y disponibilidad de los quirófanos.
También nos manifiesta su agradecimiento a CUAAM, África Viva, Centro Docente Sant Joan de Déu y al Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Barcelona por el apoyo recibido al programa para las mujeres embrazadas, a la Escuela de Enfermería y por el soporte al hospital de Mabesseneh.
Nos dice también que durante el mes de noviembre se harán los exámenes de la primera promoción de enfermeras de grado superior (SRN) del hospital. La Sra. Bangali, que todos conocemos, se jubiló el pasado mes de septiembre como directora de la Escuela de enfermería después de 10 años de estar al frente de dicha responsabilidad.
Finalmente, nos da algunas noticias que nunca nos gustan oír, pero que son la realidad de país. Nos cuenta el cierre de las minas de Marampa que afecta gravemente a la situación económica de la zona, y una subida de salarios que, aunque sea lógica, afecta gravemente a la economía de nuestro centro que no está subvencionado a nivel público, con el consiguiente peligro de pérdida del personal cualificado. Os transcribimos la carta completa y en inglés:
“Good evening Br. Fernando,
Today we had a colourful celebration at Port Loko where we concluded the extraordinary year of Missionary year proclaimed by Pope Francis. The hospital was responsible for providing medical emergency services. We gave a lot of assistance with the presence of 40 students and three doctors and all the Brothers. It was significant for us as an Order.
Following our discussions on phone last Thursday, I felt so happy to hear that God has provided the means for you to facilitate the repairs of this Matachana Machine. Indeed, this will be a big boost to the hospital this time. We have really not enjoyed the long use of this wonderful machine. I hope after this intervention and putting all the measure sin place, we will enjoy its functioning for a longer period.
Luckily for the hospital, the Central Sterilisation Supply complex has been completed and ready for use. This time, only specific permanent staff will be working in this section and has nothing to do with the Operating room like previously. The two staff will be trained on sterilisation procedures and also the other technicians will be trained on how cooperate the machines. I have an IT staff now in the hospital and the electrician.
Generally, the hospital activities are going on well. We continue to render the unconditional services to our people thanks to your support. CUAAM is considering to continue tommy for the pregnant women for another period after the expiration of the funds by April 30, 2020. We hope God will provide generous donors for these women as they need help. Africa Viva is really supporting the outreach activities of the hospital especially with those relating to maternal health and we are very happy with them. The nursing school is going on well. We have now enrolled a new batch of 68 students giving a total of 156 students( Year 1-68, Year 2- 50 and Year 3- 38). The solar is working fine for the school and the students are very happy. Campus Doscent is doing extremely well to support us achieve our aim. The first set of 12 students shall write their national professional exams by the end of November, We pray for 100% success. Sis. Bangalie has ended her service with the school last September 2019. We thank her for her 10 years of work with us.
The country as a whole is not going on fine for the people. There is extreme hardship now, food provision for many families is challenging. In Lunsar, we are now in darkness for the past three months. The marampa Mines has closed down since September 30. All workers are gone. Lunsar is poorer again. This came about as a misunderstanding between the government and the company and it has to been resolved.
The paediatric surgeons left last Friday and they operated 46 under 5 kids with different surgical problems. The Orthopaedics and traumatologist will also arrive on Friday November 1 and start work on Monday till December 15 by three groups. Also in January for two weeks and February for two weeks. This missions are good for the hospital and the people wh need the services in this country.
Keep us in your prayers as we are really struggling to keep our staff morale high as cost of living is spiking and we can not meet the new demand. So we are considering increasing salary by January 2020 for our staff but how sure are we together the funds to continue to run the hospital if patients are not able to pay so they will not come to the hospital. The government has just increased salary for health workers and also recruited new staff so many are leaving private facilities. We are lucky because we have the nursing school and we give scholarships with bonds.
SO far this what I can update you with.
Thanks and Good night“
Michael M. Koroma
(FAWCN, MScN, BSc(Hons)N, RGN.)
St. John of God Catholic Health & Social Services
Sierra Leone & Liberia