Posts tagged sierra leone

Photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos.
Sia Bintou spent more than 10 days in MSF’s Ebola treatment center in Guéckédou, Guinea. There were many times when the medical team thought she would not make it, but Bintou beat the disease. Here, staff congratulate her as she is discharged. Right now, Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 locations in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. MSF is the only aid organization treating people affected by the virus.

Photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos.

Sia Bintou spent more than 10 days in MSF’s Ebola treatment center in Guéckédou, Guinea. There were many times when the medical team thought she would not make it, but Bintou beat the disease. Here, staff congratulate her as she is discharged. Right now, Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 locations in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. MSF is the only aid organization treating people affected by the virus.

Photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos.
Teams at the treatment center at Donka hospital, in Conakry, Guinea, work through the night and 24/7. Since the outbreak in West Africa began in March, MSF has treated 470 patients—215 of them confirmed cases—in specialized treatment centers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The scale of this Ebola epidemic is unprecedented in terms of geographical distribution and the numbers of cases and deaths. There have been 528 cases and 337 deaths since the epidemic began, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

Photo by Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos.

Teams at the treatment center at Donka hospital, in Conakry, Guinea, work through the night and 24/7. Since the outbreak in West Africa began in March, MSF has treated 470 patients—215 of them confirmed cases—in specialized treatment centers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The scale of this Ebola epidemic is unprecedented in terms of geographical distribution and the numbers of cases and deaths. There have been 528 cases and 337 deaths since the epidemic began, according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

Photo: A mother delivered her second child by C-section at MSF’s hospital in Bo district, Sierra Leone. 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII
Lowering Maternal Mortality Rates
MSF helped lower maternal mortality rates here and in an area of Burundi up to a staggering 74%. The necessary equipment: some free referral facilities and an ambulance service. Cost to operate: $2 to $4 per person.
See more photos here

Photo: A mother delivered her second child by C-section at MSF’s hospital in Bo district, Sierra Leone. 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII

Lowering Maternal Mortality Rates

MSF helped lower maternal mortality rates here and in an area of Burundi up to a staggering 74%. The necessary equipment: some free referral facilities and an ambulance service. Cost to operate: $2 to $4 per person.

See more photos here

Photo: Mothers await vaccinations for their children at the Bumpe Government Clinic in Bo District. Sierra Leone 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII
"Decade of Vaccines" Blueprint Ignores High Prices, Lacks Ambition on Better-Adapted Vaccines to Help Reach More Children
Governments meeting at the World Health Organization’s Executive Board this week must seize the opportunity to improve serious shortcomings in the document that will drive the global community’s vaccines response for the next decade. If they fail to do so, some of the key reasons for why millions of children continue to die of vaccine preventable causes will be left unaddressed.
Countries will decide how to assess the success and steer the activities of the “Global Vaccine Action Plan,” a $50-billion vaccine initiative for the developing world. Although the high price of some vaccines threatens many countries’ abilities to sustain its vaccine programs, the Vaccine Action Plan so far does not include any measures to monitor or control prices.
“The cost of vaccinating a child has risen by 2,700 percent over the last decade, so it is puzzling that the vaccines blueprint for the next decade does not have a goal to bring prices down,” said Dr. Manica Balasegaram, executive director of MSF’s Access Campaign. “Governments in countries where we work are increasingly worried about how they will foot the bill for vaccines when donor support tapers off.”

Photo: Mothers await vaccinations for their children at the Bumpe Government Clinic in Bo District. Sierra Leone 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII

"Decade of Vaccines" Blueprint Ignores High Prices, Lacks Ambition on Better-Adapted Vaccines to Help Reach More Children

Governments meeting at the World Health Organization’s Executive Board this week must seize the opportunity to improve serious shortcomings in the document that will drive the global community’s vaccines response for the next decade. If they fail to do so, some of the key reasons for why millions of children continue to die of vaccine preventable causes will be left unaddressed.

Countries will decide how to assess the success and steer the activities of the “Global Vaccine Action Plan,” a $50-billion vaccine initiative for the developing world. Although the high price of some vaccines threatens many countries’ abilities to sustain its vaccine programs, the Vaccine Action Plan so far does not include any measures to monitor or control prices.

“The cost of vaccinating a child has risen by 2,700 percent over the last decade, so it is puzzling that the vaccines blueprint for the next decade does not have a goal to bring prices down,” said Dr. Manica Balasegaram, executive director of MSF’s Access Campaign. “Governments in countries where we work are increasingly worried about how they will foot the bill for vaccines when donor support tapers off.”

Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and BurundiEnsuring pregnant women have timely access to emergency obstetric care has reduced maternal deaths by as much as 74 percent in parts of two African countries 
The comprehensive emergency obstetric services at MSF hospitals in Bo and Kabezi is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All services are free of charge. The total annual operating costs of the programs are equivalent to just under two dollars per person in Bo and $4.15 per person in Kabezi.
MSF’s data indicate that maternal mortality in Burundi’s Kabezi district has fallen to 208 per 100,000 live births, compared to a national average of 800 per 100,000 live births, a 74 percent decrease. In Sierra Leone, MSF figures for the same year indicate that maternal mortality in Bo district has decreased to 351 per 100,000 live births, compared to 890 per 100,000 in the rest of the country, a 61 percent reduction. MSF is the only emergency obstetric care provider in Kabezi and Bo.
Sierra Leone and Burundi both suffer from extremely high maternal mortality rates due to lack of access to quality antenatal and obstetric care, which are linked to shortages of qualified health staff, a lack of medical facilities, and health systems that have been shattered by years of civil war.
“Giving birth in Sierra Leone is often a life-threatening endeavor for many women,” said Betty Raney, an obstetrician with MSF in Sierra Leone. “In my 25 years as an obstetrician, I have never seen such a level of severity among the patients. Had they not had any access to care, many of them would die.”
Using the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015 as a point of reference, MSF’s estimates indicate that the maternal mortality ratio in Kabezi is already below the MDG level. MSF is confident that the mortality ratio will have dropped by 75 percent in Bo by 2015.

Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi
Ensuring pregnant women have timely access to emergency obstetric care has reduced maternal deaths by as much as 74 percent in parts of two African countries 

The comprehensive emergency obstetric services at MSF hospitals in Bo and Kabezi is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All services are free of charge. The total annual operating costs of the programs are equivalent to just under two dollars per person in Bo and $4.15 per person in Kabezi.

MSF’s data indicate that maternal mortality in Burundi’s Kabezi district has fallen to 208 per 100,000 live births, compared to a national average of 800 per 100,000 live births, a 74 percent decrease. In Sierra Leone, MSF figures for the same year indicate that maternal mortality in Bo district has decreased to 351 per 100,000 live births, compared to 890 per 100,000 in the rest of the country, a 61 percent reduction. MSF is the only emergency obstetric care provider in Kabezi and Bo.

Sierra Leone and Burundi both suffer from extremely high maternal mortality rates due to lack of access to quality antenatal and obstetric care, which are linked to shortages of qualified health staff, a lack of medical facilities, and health systems that have been shattered by years of civil war.

“Giving birth in Sierra Leone is often a life-threatening endeavor for many women,” said Betty Raney, an obstetrician with MSF in Sierra Leone. “In my 25 years as an obstetrician, I have never seen such a level of severity among the patients. Had they not had any access to care, many of them would die.”

Using the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015 as a point of reference, MSF’s estimates indicate that the maternal mortality ratio in Kabezi is already below the MDG level. MSF is confident that the mortality ratio will have dropped by 75 percent in Bo by 2015.

Photo: Mateso Emilienne, 25, was picked up by MSF ambulance the previous day from Gatumba Health Center. Her baby was delivered via Caesarean section. Burundi 2012 © Sarah Elliott
Low-Cost Health Interventions Drastically Reducing Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi
Medical data gathered in 2011 from MSF projects in Bo, Sierra Leone, and Kabezi,Burundi indicate that the introduction of ambulance referral systems, together with the provision of emergency obstetric services, can significantly reduce the risk of women dying from pregnancy-related complications.
“You do not need state-of-the-art facilities or equipment to save many women’s lives,” said Vincent Lambert, MSF’s medical advisor for Burundi. “MSF’s experience can serve as an encouraging example for donors, governments and other NGOs considering investing in the improvement of access to emergency obstetric care in countries with high maternal mortality rates.”
The research, published in the paper, “Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi,” is the first of its kind to quantify the impact of such a model of care on maternal mortality in an African setting.

Photo: Mateso Emilienne, 25, was picked up by MSF ambulance the previous day from Gatumba Health Center. Her baby was delivered via Caesarean section. Burundi 2012 © Sarah Elliott

Low-Cost Health Interventions Drastically Reducing Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi


Medical data gathered in 2011 from MSF projects in Bo, Sierra Leone, and Kabezi,Burundi indicate that the introduction of ambulance referral systems, together with the provision of emergency obstetric services, can significantly reduce the risk of women dying from pregnancy-related complications.

“You do not need state-of-the-art facilities or equipment to save many women’s lives,” said Vincent Lambert, MSF’s medical advisor for Burundi. “MSF’s experience can serve as an encouraging example for donors, governments and other NGOs considering investing in the improvement of access to emergency obstetric care in countries with high maternal mortality rates.”

The research, published in the paper, “Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi,” is the first of its kind to quantify the impact of such a model of care on maternal mortality in an African setting.

Fighting A Cholera Outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone

A cholera epidemic in the capitals of Guinea and Sierra Leone was declared in February. Our team has treated nearly 8,000 people in the two countries.

Cholera Epidemic Escalates Along Sierra Leone and Guinea Border

The onset of the rainy season in West Africa has caused an increase in cholera cases on both sides of the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea. More than 13,000 people have been admitted to hospitals in the capital cities of Freetown and Conakry since February, when the disease was declared an epidemic. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) currently has more than 800 beds available to treat cholera patients and is opening additional cholera treatment centers and rehydration points in collaboration with local authorities.

Cholera, which spreads through contaminated water and flourishes in unsanitary conditions, causes days of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, and leaves patients visibly emaciated after. It is a punishing affliction. “I want to die,” whispers a patient in MSF’s treatment center in the Mabella slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone. “I’m tired, tired of this disease.”Photo: A 10-year-old patient recovers from cholera at Donka Cholera Treatment Center in Conakry, Guinea.

Guinea 2012 © Holly Pickett/MSF

Cholera Epidemic Escalates Along Sierra Leone and Guinea Border

The onset of the rainy season in West Africa has caused an increase in cholera cases on both sides of the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea. More than 13,000 people have been admitted to hospitals in the capital cities of Freetown and Conakry since February, when the disease was declared an epidemic. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) currently has more than 800 beds available to treat cholera patients and is opening additional cholera treatment centers and rehydration points in collaboration with local authorities.

Cholera, which spreads through contaminated water and flourishes in unsanitary conditions, causes days of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, and leaves patients visibly emaciated after. It is a punishing affliction. “I want to die,” whispers a patient in MSF’s treatment center in the Mabella slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone. “I’m tired, tired of this disease.

Photo: A 10-year-old patient recovers from cholera at Donka Cholera Treatment Center in Conakry, Guinea.
Guinea 2012 © Holly Pickett/MSF

Battling Cholera in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s capital. Freetown, is currently struggling to contain a cholera outbreak that has affected over 1,500 people and killed at least 17 to date. MSF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is already running three cholera treatment units in the city and has treated more than 500 patients. Because the number of people infected continues to grow, however, MSF plans to open two additional treatment facilities up in the next 10 days.

“We are moving quickly to increase our capacity to handle all the new patients that will arrive,” says Karen Van den Brande, MSF head of mission in Sierra Leone. “Our present cholera treatment facilities are stretched to the limit with patients. The patients that we see are of all ages, so it’s not just children or already weak people that are at risk.”Photo: Cholera patients at Marcauley cholera treatment unit in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone © Florence Demeulin/MSF

Battling Cholera in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s capital. Freetown, is currently struggling to contain a cholera outbreak that has affected over 1,500 people and killed at least 17 to date. MSF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is already running three cholera treatment units in the city and has treated more than 500 patients. Because the number of people infected continues to grow, however, MSF plans to open two additional treatment facilities up in the next 10 days.

“We are moving quickly to increase our capacity to handle all the new patients that will arrive,” says Karen Van den Brande, MSF head of mission in Sierra Leone. “Our present cholera treatment facilities are stretched to the limit with patients. The patients that we see are of all ages, so it’s not just children or already weak people that are at risk.”

Photo: Cholera patients at Marcauley cholera treatment unit in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone © Florence Demeulin/MSF

Watch your step

Delivery of humanitarian aid around the world has become a moral, political and military minefield.

How do you broker deals with belligerents to reach vulnerable populations without selling your soul? When is a compromise to gain access to populations a betrayal of them? When to speak up, and when to say silent, on atrocities? When is doing nothing morally better than answering urgent human imperative to ”do something”?

The suicide attack last week was ”a really terrible event, and to understand it we have to first differentiate between aid and humanitarian aid - and I am not putting one above the other, morally speaking,” says Fabrice Weissman, a Frenchman who for years has been negotiating moral landmines as a veteran MSF logistician and head of mission.
His experiences in conflicts from Sudan to Sierra Leone, Ethiopia to Liberia, are drawn on in the book he has helped write and edit, Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed: The MSF Experience (Columbia University Press), but which is perhaps known more evocatively by its French title, Agir a tout Prix? (Acting At Any Price?).

—Jo Chandler
April 5, 2012
For Australia’s The Age

Read more.

Watch your step

Delivery of humanitarian aid around the world has become a moral, political and military minefield.

How do you broker deals with belligerents to reach vulnerable populations without selling your soul? When is a compromise to gain access to populations a betrayal of them? When to speak up, and when to say silent, on atrocities? When is doing nothing morally better than answering urgent human imperative to ”do something”?

The suicide attack last week was ”a really terrible event, and to understand it we have to first differentiate between aid and humanitarian aid - and I am not putting one above the other, morally speaking,” says Fabrice Weissman, a Frenchman who for years has been negotiating moral landmines as a veteran MSF logistician and head of mission.

His experiences in conflicts from Sudan to Sierra Leone, Ethiopia to Liberia, are drawn on in the book he has helped write and edit, Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed: The MSF Experience (Columbia University Press), but which is perhaps known more evocatively by its French title, Agir a tout Prix? (Acting At Any Price?).

—Jo Chandler
April 5, 2012
For Australia’s The Age Read more.

2001Trauma Counseling in Colombia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Beyond

MSF increasingly includes mental health activities in its emergency responses around the world.

Learn more about MSF’s history at our website.

Photo: Sri Lanka 2002 © Marco van Hal

2001
Trauma Counseling in Colombia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Beyond

MSF increasingly includes mental health activities in its emergency responses around the world.

Learn more about MSF’s history at our website.

Photo: Sri Lanka 2002 © Marco van Hal

2000Civil War in Sierra Leone

MSF treats victims of the country’s brutal civil war.

Learn more about MSF’s history at our website.

Photo: Sierra Leone 2000 © Black Star

2000
Civil War in Sierra Leone

MSF treats victims of the country’s brutal civil war.

Learn more about MSF’s history at our website.

Photo: Sierra Leone 2000 © Black Star

Sierra Leone: A Safe Place for Expecting Mothers

In Sierra Leone, there are no ambulances, and many women are too poor to afford a bus ticket, meaning they must walk for hours in the tropical heat. For women already in labor this is practically impossible, and thus, not surprisingly, home births are the norm.

By encouraging women to come to clinics sooner, MSF is helping more women in Sierra Leone deliver children safely.

Yesterday, the government of Sierra Leone started implementing a policy of free healthcare for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children under the age of five.
“We are extremely happy that the Sierra Leone government has decided to stop asking pregnant women and children to pay for health care,” said Stuart Zimble, MSF’s Head of Mission in Sierra Leone. “In a country facing such enormous health issues, the increased use of health services must be a priority objective.”
Sierra Leone 2009 © Emily Linendoll/MSF

Yesterday, the government of Sierra Leone started implementing a policy of free healthcare for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children under the age of five. “We are extremely happy that the Sierra Leone government has decided to stop asking pregnant women and children to pay for health care,” said Stuart Zimble, MSF’s Head of Mission in Sierra Leone. “In a country facing such enormous health issues, the increased use of health services must be a priority objective.”

Sierra Leone 2009 © Emily Linendoll/MSF