Remember as a kid how exciting it was to go shopping for new notebooks and other supplies in preparation for a new school year? At the start of every academic year, the CRC gathers all of the students in the Child Support Program to receive their school supplies for the year. With 450 kids in this program, that is a lot of pencils!
Thirty year old Foday Kamara was sitting on his front porch with his wife during a storm when the porch was struck by lightning. Foday fell and hit his head. His wife was also superficially burned. Foday received care at Mercy to ensure that he did not suffer brain damage, and is now fully recovered, although the medical staff at Mercy believe that he may continue to suffer headaches. His wife's injuries were minor and did not require medical treatment.
Dr. Carol McIntosh has just returned from a medical mission trip to Bo. During her time there, Dr. Carol trained Mercy Hospital's maternity staff, many of whom are fairly new, to perform ultrasounds.
Mercy Hospital's Nutrition program reaches 11 communities outside of Bo, but the nutrition program also operates out of the main hospital, for those close enough to Mercy to access it there. Two month old Baby Samuel King was brought to Mercy Hospital's local nutrition program by his grandmother, as his mother recently passed away. Unfortunately, the family has no one who is able to breastfeed Samuel and the family is unable to afford formula.
The Outreach Coordinator, together with the local District Nutrition Unit, identified this baby as extremely vulnerable and prone to malnutrition (he currently weighs only 4.1 kg and 52 cm long). Mercy Hospital has committed to purchasing him formula on a monthly basis and monitoring him until he get old enough to transfer to Bennimix/solid foods.
Mercy Hospital celebrated its 10 year anniversary on October 17, 2017! A few of Mercy's key staff shared their thoughts about the hospital's past and future:
Dr. Kanneh, Chief Medical Officer “I feel delighted and proud to be part of the Mercy team on the 10th anniversary of Mercy Hospital. It has been really challenging over the years, challenges that we have faced with courage, determination, and hard work and have been able to succeed. We have proposed as a way of expanding Mercy Hospital to higher heights, by constructing an operating theatre. This is ongoing and thankfully it will be completed soon. Then we will have the opportunity of treating maternity cases who would otherwise be referred outside to other hospitals. Other surgical cases that we have turned away previously will also be able to be treated at our hospital. That will bring Mercy Hospital up to an even greater level. We appreciate and thank our partners and UMC annual conference for providing this facility to us and we cannot thank them enough for this wonderful duration period of the hospital.”
Jinnah Lahai, Hospital Administrator “I am happy that we have made it to 10 years and that I am part of this team. I am excited about Mercy becoming even more equipped and standardized as a hospital and with the new OR becoming one of the most effective hospitals in Sierra Leone. We are really on a good footing to become a very well-known hospital in Sierra Leone.“
Augusta Kpanabum, Head Matron “I just want to thank the almighty God for making us be alive to see Mercy’s ten years. We give thanks to God and the donors. We really want to appreciate all of the partners. I have been at Mercy for 3 years and Mercy has really made a big step forward already since I came. I am anxious to see the next step of Mercy with the opening of the OR. It is going to really make our work so much more effective to help those in the community. We can be very proud of having competent staff for the smooth running of the hospital. The outreach department has really improved and we have two wonderful CHOs that are working very hard to improve Mercy. We pray that the good Lord will continue to strengthen us all to continue the work.
George Mbayo, Lab Supervisor “I thank God so much for my life being at Mercy Hospital since the opening. I am so proud of Mercy, it is like my baby. In the beginning of Mercy onto now, things are still moving in the right direction. There has been much improvement. Our plans and strategies have been there from the beginning and are really being implemented well. A vision that I want the hospital to move towards is getting an x-ray and dental unit to add up to our departments. The OR is about to finish so we are excited for that and the possibility of adding more staff to increase the abilities of Mercy."
We are so proud of our dedicated staff, and deeply grateful to the many generous donors who have helped Mercy become an essential resource for excellent and compassionate health care in the Bo community and surrounding villages.
These photos were taken of pediatric burn patient, Abu Bakarr Kanu, after he returned to Mercy from his school, just a few steps away. Because Mercy is continuing to monitor his condition, Abu Bakarr sleeps at Mercy, and receives meals there, which is helping him to gain the weight he needs to have in order to be ready for surgery scheduled sometime next year. Not skin graft surgery, these surgeries will focus on releasing the contracted muscles in his legs, to allow him to walk more normally.
Abu Bakarr loves the caring staff at Mercy, but more than that, he loves his school uniform, and being able to attend school with his friends - a lot of whom are kids in the CRC programs. After school he can be found enjoying a snack and some silliness on the porch of the triage building, with 4 or 5 other boys his age. His smiles come so easily these days!
The Child Rescue Centre recently welcomed twenty primary students to the Child Support Program, who are attending school for the first time in Fengehun, a small village near Bo. This week CSP Coordinator David Musa led a small team to visit the school, where they were warmly welcomed by the head master, teachers and students. The kids were so excited to meet the visitors and show them their classroom.
Fengehun is a small village on Mercy Hospital's circuit of outreach clinics, so it was a natural choice for the expansion of the Child Support Program. The families are grateful to be able to send their children to school for the first time.
At the September 28th Mercy Staff Meeting, several members of the Mercy staff were recognized and presented with certificates for "outstanding performance beyond the normal expectation. Award recipients are nominated by Heads of Department, Hospital Administrator, HCW Director of Medical Projects, Senior Doctor, and the Matron.
For the month of June, Hosptial Administrator Jinnah Lahai was recognized for his excellent managerial skills, initiatives,and implementation of team building strategies.
For the month of July, Hassan Sajuma (Lab Technician) was rewarded for having 100% record for responding to emergency cases, particularly during the night. His support of the Maternity unit during deliveries for blood transfusions and laboratory investigations was also cited.
Agnes Margao (cashier) received an award for the month of August, for performing efficiently and effectively in two offices. Agnes acted as both cashier and registrar during the month while the regular Hospital Registrar was on leave, supplying the Finance Officer with all needed financial information during that time.
RN Angela Juana received the award for September. Posted at the out patient department and the same time tracking pharmacy records, Angela also assisted the junior nurses on the ward; her skills are as good as a Matron. She is also very outspoken and the most respectful of all nurses on staff.
In August, CARES Radio brought teachers from various schools in Bo to the program to teach on various subjects in an effort to help them prepare students for the re-opening of schools in September. Mr. Lakoh taught aspects of good governance and participatory democracy, and Mr. Koroma spoke about aspects of business management and financial accounting.
The Mercy Hospital Hour continues to create huge impact in terms of improving health practices. During the month of August, topics included postpartum recovery, facilities available at Mercy Hospital, and the role of the laboratory in the dispensation of medical services at Mercy. The Vice Principal of Mattru School for Nursing spoke recently on the subject of how nurses are trained. The Mercy Hospital Hour also advertises the Mercy Ambulance, which is now more frequently used, due to the awareness raised by this program.
CARES has now expanded to Kono. CARE programs recorded in Bo are now being rebroadcast in Kono on Radio New Song Kono on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3:00 pm. Listeners in Kono love the program, and call in when it's time for the program to air. CARES Program Supervisor Amadu Sandy and Producer Emmanuel Koroma are pictured below.
Abu has started attending school at UMC Kulanda Town School. It is right next to Mercy, so very convenient for him, and the walk is helping to strengthen his legs. Although he was in class 5 when he had his accident last year, the CRC staff have decided to put him in class 4 to help him recover the ground he lost by being out of school during his recovery. This will help him get a good foundation for success on the National Primary School Exam.
The Mercy staff was so excited to see Abu in his uniform. He normally attends the daily staff meeting/devotion and gets special prayers each day, and the staff were thrilled to pray especially for his successful return to school.
Abu has been anxious to return to school since the accident happened, and he is proud of his new school uniform, and happy to be attending school with his brothers and sisters from the CRC.
(Pictured with him is Hassan Sajuma, the Laboratory Technician)