By Foday Moriba Conteh
During a well-attended ceremony held on Tuesday 7thFebruary 2023, the Healey International Relief Foundation, with support from USAID American Schools and Hospitals Abroad, donated one (1) Universal Anaesthesia Machine to Christ the King Children’s Hospital which is located in Waterloo.
The donation was part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) American Schools and Hospitals Abroad Program (ASHA) grant that was given to the Healey International Relief Foundation for the purchase of eight (8) Gradian Universal Anaesthesia Machines (UAM), ventilators, and patient monitors to be distributed to health facilities across the country.
The donation of the 8 Universal Anaesthesia Machines (UAM) came as a response to the many challenges the hospital has been facing in doing surgical operations in the theatre as the machines are innovatively designed to continue working without electricity and medical oxygen.
In his statement, In-Country Manager of Healey International Relief Foundation, Ishmeal Alfred Charles, stated that the Anaesthesia machine is very efficient and will aid surgeries as it can work even without electricity.
He admonished pupils present to be innovative in order to solve societal issues affecting the country and the world at large. He added that the American best practices that the project is promoting are Transparency, Accountability, Science and Transparency.
The Director of Caritas Freetown, Fr. Peter Konteh, Executive Director, expressed appreciation to the community stakeholders for offering them the land on which the hospital is built. He emphasized the importance of the machine in the surgical theatre and encouraged the hospital staff to make good use of the machine adding that the cost of one of the machines is $50,000 and Healey is donating 8 of those to health facilities across the country.
Board Member, Josephine Garnem, encouraged all the youths present to always work hard and innovate in order to alleviate the sufferings of patients.
“We believe that the youth and students should try and do something incredible to change the world in a better way,” she added.
She also encouraged them to think outside the box as that is the only way they can save society and solve emerging problems in the world.
Sahr Botton, an anaesthesiologist revealed that the machine will increase successful surgeries in the country.
He further informed how the machine is particularly made for developing African countries that are struggling with energy problems. “Surgery won’t be easy without an anaesthesia machine and surgery won’t be successful without an anaesthetist,” he furthered.
He pleaded to the Healey Foundation to also help in training more anaesthesiologists as there is a shortage in the profession and explained the functions the machine could perform which includes temperature checking, Heart Rate Checking, Blood Pressure checking etc.
Director of Hospitals and Ambulance Services at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation – Dr. Matthew Vandi extended gratitude to the Healey Foundation for the gesture. He pointed out that Sierra Leone is a country that has a high infant mortality rate, but said with the installation of the machine such will help in reducing the mortality rate in the country.
He expressed delight that Christ the King Hospital has been capacitated.
Honourable Mohamed Chernor Kabia, the Member of Parliament of the constituency where the hospital is located, was quick to register thanks and appreciation to Caritas Freetown and Healey Foundation for their tremendous help in rendering health care services to the Waterloo Community.
He said that among the 11 health facilities in the Western Rural district, Christ the King hospital is ranked 2nd best in terms of service delivery in the health care sector but with the installation of the Aesthetic machine they have automatically be ranked number one in the rural district.
Honourable Mohamed Chernor Kabia also quickly drew the attention of all present that because of urban-rural migration they always need more of whatever they have or receive because the demand is always high and the population keeps growing.
He ended by thanking Caritas and Healey Foundation for always availing quality drugs accessible by patients that visit the hospital and also thanked the hospital staff for always giving their best in treating patients.