Sierra Leone: Surgical team work in Kenema
19-11-1999 News Release 99/46
Since it returned to Kenema in eastern Sierra Leone last July the ICRC has been helping the government hospital there to meet medical needs in the area. A team consisting of a surgeon, an anaesthetist and two specialized nurses are treating mainly people maimed during the fighting in the country in 1998. About 130 operations involving reconstructive and/or corrective surgery have been performed so far, and an average of 15 surgical operations are now taking place every week.
Local surgeons will be receiving training, as needed, in war surgery techniques. Major supplies of medicines and various types of medical equipment have been delivered to the hospital, and the plan is to build a wing with a 40-bed capacity, an operating theatre, and outpatient consultation and physiotherapy facilities.
Medical assistance to the country's hospitals and health centres is a significant component of the ICRC's activities in Sierra Leone. The ICRC plays a key role in the primary health care system, providing support for four health centres in some of the most poverty-stricken sections of Freetown. A delegate is supervising assistance to the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in the capital, Sierra Leone having one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.