Making maternal clinics a safer place

Mar 26, 2018

Pregnant and suckling mothers walk towards the newly rehabilitated maternity health post in Rosenor community Kambia, Northern Sierra Leone © Alpha Sesay/ UNDP Sierra Leone

Just over a year ago when Sadia Kamara, 39, was posted as a maternal child health aide in Rosenor Village, she was very pleased to have her first experience outside Freetown. 

However, her happiness was short lived when she realized that her new duty station was not as she expected.

The roof of the health post leaked when it rained. “Had you come here in the rainy season, there would be no place to sit.”

This almost made her gave up the profession she had loved since she was a little girl growing up in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital city.

“I was disappointed.” Said Kamara. “I had wanted to abandon my post.” She stressed.

However, she thought about the sacred oath she took upon completion of her training course.   Her love to serve humanity meant she couldn’t turn her back on the people she has taken oath to serve, no matter what. “I had to stay, come what may,” she said with a smile.

Rosenor village is a remote community on the outskirts of Kambia District, close to the Guinea border. 

When the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with its local implementing partner Grace Land Sierra Leone engaged the Village Development Committee (VDC), to prioritize their development needs, the leaking roof of the community health post stood out as a top priority for the Rosenor residents.

Through the project, “Support the Strengthening of Sub-Regional Post-Ebola Medical Surveillance and Socio-Economic Recovery Initiatives in West Africa”, UNDP with support from the Government and people of Japan rehabilitated the leaking roof and refurbished 5 other maternal health facilities in 3 chiefdoms serving approximately 100 villages in Kambia.

“This is the place you see patients sitting now, she points to wooden bench where a few pregnant and breastfeeding mothers sit. There was no place to sit during last year’s rainy season.”

Kamara reminisces of the day she had three women in labour who had come in for delivery - “You wouldn’t believe it, we took them to a house adjacent to the clinic for the delivery”.

“As you can see people are seated comfortably and we the staff here are happy because the maternal health clinic is in good shape.” She points to a dozen pregnant women and new mothers who came in for their medical check-ups.

The Rosenor community was not the only maternal health post that was refurbished, it was among five other community health clinics and 95 hand pumps rehabilitated in 110 communities in Kambia and Kailahun districts.      

 

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