During our monthly pop-up clinics our doctors have diagnosed some form of malnutrition in 80% of the children they see (see photos). As of the end of May 2022, we established two malnutrition clinics for severe and moderate acute malnutrition for children under the age of five. Our staff was trained by clinicians from Project Peanut Butter & Partners in Health, and both clinics have been certified by the Sierra Leone government. Since the inception of the clinics, twenty-five children have been rescued from malnutrition and their mothers given jobs selling soap to support them. Currently, twenty-seven children are enrolled in the two clinics. The mothers learn how to make Bennimix (provided by MOH), a blend of nutritive food substances to feed their children.
Since January 2021 our monthly pop-up clinics have been successful. Two government-provided doctors & two lab techs work at the Ngolahun clinic three days per month. All patients are treated for free and all medicines & supplies are provided by MOH. Our initial catchment area of 5 villages has grown to over 27 with patients often walking 2-3 days to receive care. Over 400 patient visits are logged every clinic.
The MOH clinicians discover many patients who need surgery while screening at the pop-up clinic. MOH supports two surgeries per month. In November and December of 2022 MOH hosted Dr. Raphael Shapiro, who performed 22 surgeries at the Kailahun District Hospital, trained local surgeons, donated gloves and stethoscopes, and is planning on coming back with a team! The hospital surgeons are now coming on-site to the MOH clinic on a monthly basis to perform these much needed surgeries. This avoids extensive and costly transportation and ensures a quicker recovery in the patient’s own home.
Dr. Shapiro has made the generous donation of two ultrasound machines, one for the MOH Clinic & one for the government hospital in Freetown.
Cocktails for a Cause
Miracle of Help recently held their first virtual fundraiser, “Miracle of Help Cocktails for a Cause”!
Please see our videos of our featured speakers below.
We are looking forward to holding more events in the year to come!
Paramount Chief Baion
M M Kowa
MOH has provided seven scholarships to create an initial pool of staff members for the new hospital in this very remote region.
Idrissa Siaka is attending Njala University and earning a degree in Community Health & Clinical Sciences (CHO).
Nurse Margret Bassie is studying to become a State Registered Nurse (SRN) at Eastern Polytechnic.
Mariatu Baby James has just graduated from the School of Midwifery in Bo and will be attend our monthy pop-up clinics as MOH’s first trained midwife.
Musa Gangha, our Country Director, is earning his Masters Degree, in Public Health at Eastern Polytechnic.
Three new scholarships have been established. The James Steston & Mark Solomon Boal Scholarship will support the training of a physician specializing in OBGYN. The Claire and Joe LoCissero Scholarship will support the training of a physician specializing in OBGYN. The Joseph & Gina LoCissero Scholarship will support the training of a physician specializing in Pediatrics.
64 Fruit Trees
In 2019, the women of Ngolahun planted 64 fruit tree seedlings and have been watering and fertilizing them as part of an MOH community project. The trees have flourished under their care, and will provide fruit for the hospital staff and patients. More fruit trees are being planted around the guest house.
Our recent donation to the Ngolahun school and clinic includes 200 primary school books, 17 boxes of writing supplies, 100 pairs of shorts, 1 wheelchair and 6 pairs of crutches, assorted medical and other supplies.
Students enthusiastically thanking MOH for the school supplies, and pledging to educate themselves so that they can help their village.
Second Shipment Highlights
This shipping container, packed full of furniture, office supplies, and even a pick-up truck will be repurposed as an operating room or laboratory for the new MCHP that we are building.
The Clean Water Project
MOH in partnership with seven catchment villages created a Clean Water Project team for each village, made up of local laborers.
The CWP team was responsible for providing unskilled labor, digging the well, and working with the skilled labor and locally made well parts provided by Miracle of Help.
After the well hit water, at around 36ft, the shaft was lined with cement and the pump-head and cement surround were installed.
Each well was provided with a tower, a storage tank, and an innovative solar panel powered pump—the first of its kind in Sierra Leone—designed by MOH technical officers to pump the water from the well to the storage tank.
Each well can also be operated by a hand pump in addition to the water stored in the tank, which is accessible by tap and spigot.
- Clean water is ESSENTIAL to health and prevents many gastrointestinal diseases common to rural areas that are caused by drinking dirty water
- With the addition of the solar panel powered pump, children and the elderly can now draw water themselves without needing to operate the heavy hand pump that previously was the only option
- The task of drawing water often falls to young people and the children of the villages, who in the past had great difficulty operating a pump
- They can now draw water easily
Cocoa Farmers Cooperative
With help from MOH, 500 local farmers have joined together to form a cocoa cooperative. The farmers are working towards organic certification from the Sierra Leone government which will increase the value of their cocoa and allow them to sell their crops for higher prices. 11 villages will sponsor seedling nurseries for a new fast growing variety of cocoa which bears fruit in three years. 30 farmers were thrilled to learn organic farming methods from MOH sponsored soil expert, Peter Ash. Peter also taught how to dig berms & swales which will recharge their hand dug water-wells with rain water during the rainy season. These 30 farmers are teaching what they learned to the other coop members.
MOH’s next agricultural project will include a rice farmers cooperative & coffee farmers cooperative.
Meeting with Kailahun District Health Officer
From left to right: Country Director Musa Gangha, Disctrict Health Officer Dr. Desmond Kangbai, Dr. Risa Gold, Paramount Chief Baion
Working With the SL Government
Videos From Our Latest Trip
Local Doctor Treating a Mother & Child
Ngolahun Healthcare Situation
Vision Meeting Report
Women of Ngolahun/ Current Health Issues
Monthly Pop-up Clinic
Once a month in participation with the Sierra Leone Government we send two clinical health officers and 2 lab technicians to work with our five maternity nurses, three trained birth assistants and fourteen new community health workers to the Ngolahun Clinic for three days where they treat upwards of 300 new patients every month.
Outgrowth of this Clinic has led us to establish the Outpatient Malnutrition Program & Surgery Initiative.
Outpatient Treatment Post Malnutrition Program
We run an Outpatient Treatment Post Malnutrition Clinic certified by the Sierra Leone government. We follow strict guidelines mandated by Sierra Leone & the World Health Organization. We have treated 11 children for Severe Acute Malnutrition(SAM) with Project Peanut Butter’s Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). Additionally, we have treated 14 children for Moderate Acute Malnutrition(MAM) with Bennimix.
The training of our staff was provided by Dr. Yusupha Dibba from Partners In Health, & Dr. Marc Manary from Project Peanut Butter.
As a result of the monthly pop-up clinic our doctors diagnose patients who need surgery. Every month MOH now sends between 2 & 4 patients(men, women and children) to the government hospital and sponsors these urgently needed procedures. Outside of their normal duties, our staff travels with these patients, stays with them overnight, and make sure they return home safely. A total of __ patients have been treated in 2021.
Clean Water Project
With funding from the New Hope Foundation, we have embarked on bringing clean water to 7 villages. 4 of these villages are receiving their first well ever. These villages are so remote that they can not be reached by truck or car. Everything had to be brought in by motorcycle & built on site. All of the wells have water towers and holding tanks and once complete will be powered by a solar pump. The water will accessible by tap and spigot making it possible for children and the elderly to access clean water. This project is slated to be completed by the end of April 2022.
MOH has provided four scholarships to create an initial pool of staff members for the new hospital in this very remote region.
Idrissa Siaka is currently attending Njala University to earn a degree in Community Health & Clinical Sciences (CHO).
Nurse Margret Bassie is becoming a State Registered Nurse (SRN) at Eastern Polytechnic.
Mariatu Baby James is studying at the School of Midwifery in Bo.
Musa Gangha, our Country Director, is earning his Masters Degree, in Public Health at Eastern Polytechnic.
In exciting news, 3 donors have pledged funds to enable MOH to send 2 Sierra Leone pre-med students to medical school for their MD degrees as well as fund the training of midwives and hospital administrators.
Our Midwife MOH scholarship recipient Mariatu(center) is eager to start working for MOH. Our Country Director , Musa Gangha(right) is proud to be earning his Masters in Public Health on an MOH scholarship.
Some time in 2022
Dr. Raphael Shapiro will take a team consisting of 4 surgeons to teach advanced surgical techniques to the surgeons of SL. They’ll be hosted by Dr. Kangbai and teach in Nixon General Hospital in Kailahun.
Skills Training Center
We are delighted to report that we’ve been given 2 factories in the village of Mamboma to make soap & cassava . Plans are currently underway to start soap making. We will employ the mothers of the 25 newly nourished children to ensure that they have the income to keep their children fed. MOH is exploring a promising resale program opportunity with Eco-Soap, a socially minded company that produces soap at low cost that can be resold locally. We hope these enterprises will become entirely self sufficient.
Plans to start cassava will follow.
Plans for the future
We have started a fruit farm to support hospital staff and its patients. Additionally, we will be planting a cotton tree farm for the villagers to pick and weave into clothing.
Straightash Environmental Solutions
We have sponsored Peter Ash of Straightash Environmental Solutions to travel to Sierra Leone & work with our farmers to teach them organic farming methods and how to care of the soil. The goal is to achieve “Organic Certification”, so that they can get higher prices for their crops of rice, cocoa & coffee. The farmers hope to form a cooperative and pool their resources so they can purchase a truck to get their crops to market. Currently they are obliged to wait for middle men to come to their village who pay very little.
Micro Finance Program
The villagers we work with have requested a Micro Finance Program to enable them to get small loans. These loans allow mainly women to start businesses such as tailoring or poultry. As their loans are repaid, they are eligible for larger loans, and can further grow their enterprises. We are eager to set up this program that will enable many more people to become self-sufficient.
Our 2021 Trip to Sierra Leone was Highly Successful
Our MOH team met with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health & Sanitation and the Ministry of Planning & Economic Development. We received an enthusiastic welcome! Not only is our 10-bedded hospital plan approved, but a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between MOH and the Sierra Leone government formalizing our partnership.
Future wishes – As the funding becomes available, MOH is pre-approved for the construction of a 60-bed general hospital as a future extension of our current plans.