Sierra Leone in West Africa, has suffered many years of civil war and political instability leaving this small but densely populated country in a destitute state with frightening child mortality and virtually no health care in rural areas.
One in six infants die at birth and 282 children per thousand die
under five years of age. Life expectancy is 34 years and one in six women die in childbirth. The main killers are Malaria, Diarrheal disaeses, Respiratory disease, Malnutrition.
Dr Nuli Lemoh, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra and respected Sydney paediatrician, has carried a life-long dream to build a Children's Hospital in Bo, the largest rural city in his poverty stricken and war-torn homeland.
The Turramurra Rotary Bo Hospital Committee is fundraising for the project. They are working with the Rotary Club of Bo and have received strong support from local and overseas Rotary Clubs, Rotary International and International House at Sydney University.
The Hospital project commenced in 2008, was completed in stages by 2011: - purchase of 3 acres of land, - construction of 21 bed hospital – to be increased to 60 beds – diagnostic facilities and short term treatment, operating theatre, health education, training and research unit.
The vision for the Bo Children's Hospital project is: To treat, teach, train, to improve child survival and health.The city of Bo is vibrant and looking to clubs like ours to help build the basic infrastructure required to improve life expectancy. Recently a stable government has implemented a highly successful peace keeping and disarmament program, rebuilding the economy and has had 90% of its foreign debt forgiven by the IMF and World Bank.
Attention is now turning to running the hospital: staff, furnishings, office equipment, medical equipment and medicines. Importantly, focus is also on health education and establishing a research unit aimed at educating children and parents on nutrition and prevention of disease.