Dear Friends and Supporters,
It has been an exciting year for MOH. First and foremost, we received our 501(c)(3) accreditation. All contributions to MOH are now tax-deductible. Expect to hear about many interesting, unusual fund-raisers in the next months! We are also registered with Amazon Smile! Enter this link to be taken to our donation page, also available through our website, then shop on Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/83-3685296. Amazon will donate to us .5% of every purchase you make. This will be a great source of funding for us, thanks for shopping!
Our major endeavor this fall was a trip to Sierra Leone led by Dr. Risa Gold, our director. At our little blue clinic, newly refurbished by the volunteers in Ngohalun, she led a week of providing medical care to people from local villages and beyond, many of whom walked over 11 miles to attend. Accompanied by three doctors, two nurses and a technician, and assisted by local doctors, nurses, and other volunteers, the team treated over 500 people over the course of a week, for both minor and major problems. dispensing anti-malarials and other medications. At one point, patients dealing with AIDS, pneumonia, or giving birth were in adjacent beds – a situation which underscores the importance of our project.
Dr. Gold with Dr. Drake Gangha and Dr. Yussuf Arrhenius at the pop-up clinicDr. Gold made some heartfelt connections with local government officials, many of whom committed to support the next pop-up clinic in the form of personnel and medications. One, Paramount Chief Baion, sent three relatives to the clinic, an important and effective endorsement. Additionally, the government has agreed to try to fulfill the community’s request for oncemonthly follow-up doctor visits.
In July, we sent a 40-foot container of goods and supplies, including stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, power and woodworking tools, construction materials, restaurant supplies, medical and school supplies, and more. These items will enable the workshop in Kenema to support small businesses, which will in turn support the hospital.
Our plan is to build the hospital in five stages, each outlined in an agreement with the Sierra Leone government. Upon completion of the hospital, the government plans to take over its operation. Our projected timeline is three to five years until the hospital and workshop businesses are established.
Our next shipment, due to leave port in January, will include more equipment and other goods for the Ngohalun clinic and proposed hospital, as well as materials to finish and furnish the workshop and office in Kenema. The office is a requirement to do business with government officials, and will also function as a meeting place for our continuing community-led development process.
MOH’s Brima Lansana delivered school bags, 200 Primary School Readers, 100 pairs of gym shorts, 17 boxes of writing kits, assorted medical and non-medical supplies, 6 pairs of crutches and a wheelchair to Ngohalun, on his motorcycle!
Many, many thanks, and our Miracle Helpers Award, to Lee and Scott Odierno, Esqs., of The Odierno Law Firm in Melville, for donating so much, including the container itself, which will be used eventually as an operating room. This shipment would not have been possible without you.
Our thanks also to Mr. Musa Gangha, our country director, who organized the local participation of both health workers and patients, and who is unfailing in his efforts to help this project succeed. A special shout-out to his wife, Isata, who cooked marvelous meals for the doctors and volunteers – a very valued contribution! The people of Ngohalun and the government of Sierra Leone have expressed so much enthusiasm and gratitude for our project that we ourselves are inspired by them and their dedicated work. We appreciate you being a large part of our efforts and our successes!
The Miracle of Help Board:
- Risa Gold, MD, DLFAPA
- Ms. Stefanie Soichet
- Ms. Antonella Soichet
- Mr. Mark Jacobi
- Ms. Patti Moss Vernam
- Nancy Lippman Israeli, MD, FAAP
- Mr. Richard Stein
- Mr. Jon Hess