Entire Populations in Sierra Leone Without Basic Healthcare

As Ebola Epidemic Continues to Hit African Nation, Organizations Work to Re-Open Hospital in Lunsar

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“We must help a rural hospital to resume daily life with courage.” This was the appeal made by priest and director of Doctors with Africa CUAMM, Father Dante Carraro, to help re-open a hospital in Sierra Leone to provide healthcare to the disease-afflicted citizens of the African nation, reported Fides.

Although the number of new cases of Ebola per week is decreasing, Sierra Leone remains the country worst hit by the epidemic. It has had more than 10,500 cases of the disease and about 3,200 deaths.

Because of fear and a massive loss of health personnel, hospitals and health centers have closed in recent months, leaving entire populations without access to basic health services.

Among these is a hospital in Lunsar, which is in the nation’s western district of Port Loko and is run by the St. John of God Order. The hospital has 151 beds and serves a population of 500,992 people.

Over the years, the quality of services provided there has become a reference point not only for Sierra Leone, which has a significant flow of patients from nearby Freetown, but also for neighboring countries such as Liberia and Guinea.

Although organizations are working to re-open the hospital–which has been closed twice since August 2014–there are no doctors.

“The hospital is empty, 500,000 people are without health care,” Father Carraro said.

“We feel challenged to provide all our experience and cooperate with the hospital management and the various partners involved, for the reopening of the Hospital in Lunsar,” the priest added. 

Doctors with Africa CUAMM is an Italian NGO which promotes and safeguards the health of the populations of Sub-Saharan Africa. It operates in seven African countries and works with international aid agencies, such as Catholic Relief Services, to provide Africans with medical aid.

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On the NET:

On Doctors with Africa CUAMM: http://www.mediciconlafrica.org/en/

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